S4P2 – The fruit of joy
Gal 5: 22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
There are many incredible pictures of joy in the scriptures, but one stands out to me above the others. It is the joy that Christ experienced at the thought of redeeming us. Heb. 12:2 tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This verse tells us that Christ endured the cross for the joy set before him. This joy was the purpose for Him enduring the cross. We know that the purpose of the cross was our redemption in that, through Christ’s death and resurrection, the Creator restored His creation to Himself. The joy of which this verse speaks is the joy of salvation and its eternal power. Man had fallen and become separated from the Father. The cross made a way for man to be reunited with the Father eternally, breaking the destructive power of sin and liberating man in the process. What a joy!
This is the kind of joy that is available to us when we are living in alignment with God’s Holy Spirit. This is the kind of joy that we are called to exhibit when we endure trials for the sake of God’s kingdom. This is the kind of joy that Paul found in the church at Thessalonica. This is an incredible joy that we could not in our own power cause to manifest. This is a joy that comes only from God. Father, grant us the strength to continue living according to your Holy Spirit so that we may receive an impartion of your pure and precious joy.