THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: JOY
The second fruit that is mentioned in the fruit of the Spirit is joy. It means gladness, delightful, or rejoicing. Joy is different than happiness because happiness depends on what is happening in our life. Joy is something that we experience regardless of what is going on in our life. It does not depend on our feelings, but it depends on our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. In James 1:2-4, it says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." We experience joy when we believe that God is at work in our lives and that He has a wonderful purpose in our situations. God's goal in our lives is to build our character for maturity.
When I went to the Philippines for a short-term mission, our team went to the largest garbage dump in the capital of the Philippines, called Smokey Mountain. Many people live there to collect plastic and cardboard materials for a living. We started sharing the gospel with many of them, and as we were talking to a particular woman, we found out that she was a believer. I was surprised by the joy that she had despite her situation, so I asked her where she was getting her joy in her heart, and she told me that it was coming from her faith and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. I would never forget my encounter with her because it encouraged me to believe in the Lord in every circumstance of my life.
As we believe and trust in the Lord in every circumstance of our life, we will experience joy in our hearts. It is a joy that comes with calmness in our spirit, knowing that everything will be alright and that God will work everything out.
Ask yourself these questions: What is joy? How do I experience joy in my life? How do I experience joy in my current difficult situation?
Write down all the worries that you are facing today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for teaching me about joy today. Please help me to completely trust in you so that I can experience your joy in the midst of my circumstances. Thank you that you are in control and that you are always there to take care of me. Please help me with (mention your prayer requests). In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.