22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23
Joy is the supernatural delight in the person, purposes, and people of God. Notice the key word 'supernatural' - this means we cannot generate our own joy, only God can. Delight is choosing to see the positive in everything. We can choose, despite our circumstances, to focus on the person of God. We delight in Him because He is good, He is faithful and loving, He is merciful and gracious. He is our Refuge, our Savior, our Father, our Teacher, our Counselor. We can also delight in His plan.
We know He has a divine purpose to everything He has allowed into our lives, and we know that it is all for our good. He loves us, so He chastens us. The first first few times past James 1:2, I didn't really understand what it meant to “consider it all joy when you encounter trials.” How could we be joyful when we’re walking through difficult circumstances? The two ideas seemed to be in direct contrast to each other. But He has walked me through enough trials in my life to understand His ways are always for my good. I may not understand them in the moment, but I know He has good for me in every one of my difficult moments. Either He's working on my heart or the hearts of people in my life, or both, and when I choose to lean in and accept what He has placed in front of me, He brings such fruit in the end. I have walked through some deep and difficult trials, and the blessings have always been abundant. I look back on each and every one of them with thanksgiving for I was changed in a way I could not have been changed without that trial. This is where the joy is found in our trials. We should consider it joy that He loves us enough to chasten us and know that if we're in a trial, He has something absolutely beautiful in it for us. Our brokenness is part of His plan.
And finally, we delight in the people of God. Our Father in heaven knows us so well, He knows exactly who to send into our lives to love us and encourage us, to point us back to scripture and to fix our eyes on Him. The people of God can help us to see God at work, and remind us of His divine plan.
On a final note - some confuse happiness with joy. Happiness is not synonymous with joy. Happiness is a feeling in response to what is happening - it is a temporary emotion. We are happy when things work out the way we want, but we are never happy when we walk into a deep trial. But we can have joy in this difficult circumstances. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit - it comes only from Him. It is the knowing that God is at work in all things, and it produces the delight in the person, purpose, and people of God.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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