“Joy is the echo of God’s life in us.” ~ Abbot Coumba Marmion
“But the fruit of the Spirit is … joy …” (Galatians 5:22 NIV)
In our continuing series on being like a tree in 2012, we’ve been discussing bearing fruit that is evidence of the internal transformation of our hearts. Proof that we’re connected to the source of life.
This week’s fruit is joy.
Joy is the foundation for a positive life. Joy is great delight. A gladness of heart. A happy state that results from knowing and serving God. A deep abiding inner rejoicing in the Lord.
It is not carrying around the weight of the world on our shoulders as if we’re beat down by circumstances. Without joy, things begin to dry up, everything’s a chore, and we start to withdraw from life.
Rather, joy is the exultation that arises from a sense of God’s mercy granting our pardon and the prospect of an eternal glory. We find joy in the love of God toward us, in the evidence of His pardon, in communion with the Redeemer, in His service, in trials, and in the hope of heaven.
Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:9-11 NIV) Joy springs from a well of love. (See last Monday’s post on the fruit of love.)
On a day of national repentance, Nehemiah told the people to “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10 NIV)
Peter wrote: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” (1 Peter 1:8 NIV)
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11 NIV. Also quoted by Peter in Acts 2:28)
Now that’s reason to rejoice!
What about you? Do you have joy? What is the source of your joy? What about God makes your heart swell with joy?