Joy – One of 9 Fruits of the Spirit

Joy

Joyous Fruit

In our introduction to the Fruit of the Spirit, we looked at the list of vices in contrast to a list of the nine virtues: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

As we abide in Christ, all of ‘the fruits’ of the Spirit get produced. The fruit of the Spirit as a whole is basically a character sketch of Christ. What is the Spirit doing in us? He is conforming us into the image of Jesus, the One who perfectly embodied love and every other virtue mentioned. [Platt 2231-2234]

Note that fruit is singular, not plural. The Holy Spirit produces one kind of fruit, that is, Christlikeness. All the virtues now listed describe the life of the child of God. [MacDonald 1924]

The Holy Spirit produces one kind of fruit, that is, Christlikeness ~MacDonald

Joy Defined

Webster defines joy as “a glorious and triumphant state, that excitement of pleasurable feelings which is caused by success, good fortune, the gratification of desire or some good possessed, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exultation; exhilaration of spirits’ that one experiences.”

“Joy is more than happiness. It is not based on financial success, good health, or popularity. By believing in God, obeying His will, receiving His forgiveness, participating in fellowship with other believers, ministering to others, and sharing the Gospel, believers will experience joy.” [Rose 7]

Foundational Thoughts on Joy

“Joy means sweet thoughts of Christ, melodious hymns and psalms, praises and thanksgiving, with which Christians instruct, inspire, and refresh themselves. In the Psalms we are repeatedly told to be ‘joyful in the Lord.’ Paul says: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always.’ Christ says: ‘Rejoice, for your names are written in heaven.’” [Luther 166]

“In giving the Galatians a character portrait of the godly life, the apostle Paul was also giving the Galatians a portrait of the Holy Spirit! The character traits produced in the Christian are the traits of the Spirit. These are the same character traits of Christ Jesus, and of God the Father.”

“God’s nature is what is being replicated in the person who believes in Jesus and seeks to be led by the Spirit. The fruit that is born in the believer’s life is fruit that the Spirit produces. It is not fruit that can be manufactured by the believer’s will, intellect, desire, or effort. It is fruit that is produced as a person ‘walks in the Spirit’ and seeks to be led by the Spirit.” [Blackaby 58]

“A happiness based on unchanging divine promises and eternal spiritual realities. It is the sense of well-being experienced by one who knows all is well between himself and the Lord. Joy is not the result of favorable circumstances, and even occurs when those circumstances are the most painful and severe. Joy is a gift from God, and as such, believers are not to manufacture it but to delight in the blessing they already possess.” [MacArthur 1676]

“One thing about the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ is important for our consideration: this fruit is spiritual in nature. It truly is fruit of the Spirit. In other words, circumstances do not affect the heart that is controlled by the Spirit. As an example, joy, an internal exuberance that rises from a relationship with God, and is abiding – not dependent upon circumstances or external conditions (which is happiness).” [Blackaby 58]

“Paul exhorts us to not use our liberty as an occasion to the flesh, but by love to serve one another. Joy, by which may be understood cheerfulness in conversation with our friends, or rather a constant delight in God.” [Henry]

“The Spirit produces ‘joy’ (Romans 14:17). Believers can have joy even in the midst of trials because the Spirit has given us new affections (2 Corinthians 6:10). We are called to ‘rejoice always’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16). The Spirit produces a life of satisfying joy, while living in the flesh only leads to constant dissatisfaction.” [Platt 2249]

Joy in the Word

David sings, “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalm 16:11 NASB)

Jesus spoke to His disciples, saying, “I have spoken these things [about love] to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (John 15:11 WEB)

Even in the midst of persecution, “The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 13:52 WEB)

James encourages us to, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NASB)

Peter states, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9 WEB)

Paul emphasizes, “God’s Kingdom is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17 WEB)

Paul declares, “Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, ‘Rejoice!’” (Philippians 4:4 WEB)

Joy in Quotes

I was delivered from the burden that had so heavily suppressed me. The spirit of mourning was taken from me, and I knew what it was to truly rejoice in God my Savior. ~George Whitefield (1714-1770)

Joy is the serious business of heaven. ~C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

The Lord gives His people perpetual joy when thy walk in obedience to Him. ~Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899)

Joy is Strength. ~Mother Teresa

Joy is distinctly a Christian word and a Christian thing. It is the reverse of happiness. Happiness is the result of what happens of an agreeable sort. Joy has its springs deep down inside. And that spring never runs dry, no matter what happens. Only Jesus gives that joy. He had joy, singing its music within, even under the shadow of the cross. ~S.D. Gordon (1859-1936)

Blessings of Joy

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 WEB)

“Now to him who is able to keep them from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory in great joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25 WEB)

Recommendations

Audience of One – God Alone – https://strengthwithdignity.com/audience-of-one-god-alone/

How to Teach Drawing https://strengthwithdignity.com/how-to-teach-drawing/

References

Bible Overview. [BO] Published by Rose Publishing, 2012, page 218.

Blackaby, Henry, Richard, Thomas, Melvin and Norman. Encounters with God – The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians. Thomas Nelson, 2008. [Kindle Edition]

Christian Quotes. Retrieved September 3, 2021 from https://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/18-wonderful-quotes-about-joy

Luther, Martin. Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians. Written in 1535 in Latin. Translated by Theodore Graebner. This book is in the public domain. The Kindle edition was published March 24, 2011.

MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Published by Thomas Nelson, 2005, page 1676.

MacDonald, William. The Believer’s Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2016, pages 1920-1927.

Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible. [MH] Originally written in 1706. Kindle Edition published November 7, 2010.

New American Standard Bible. Copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Platt, David and Tony Merida. Christ-Centered Exposition – Exalting Jesus in Galatians. Published by B&H Publishing Group, 2014. [Kindle Edition]

The Fruit of the Spirit. Rose Publishing. [Kindle edition]

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Retrieved September 3, 2021, from http://webstersdictionary1828.com/

World English Bible (WEB) by Public Domain. The name “World English Bible” is trademarked.

Note: Bible Scriptures were retrieved September 3, 2021 from https://www.biblegateway.com #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #BibleStudy

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10 thoughts on “Joy – One of 9 Fruits of the Spirit”

  1. My happiness has been threatened the past couple of months, so I have to remember that my joy is not threatened. Thanks for this encouragement that joy remains in me, despite what’s going on around me!

    1. I’m sad to hear that you have been going through such turmoil, Lisa, but I’m thankful that His joy remains inside and even strengthens you.

  2. What a great recipe for joy: “By believing in God, obeying His will, receiving His forgiveness, participating in fellowship with other believers, ministering to others, and sharing the Gospel, believers will experience joy.”

  3. Lisa, I love your thoughts on JOY here because as you know my one word is JOY. I loved thinking of your word harvest in connection with not only joy but all of the fruit of the Spirit. What a perfect way to describe the wonderful blessing of the Spirit!

    1. I have enjoyed reading the depth of joy you have experienced this year, Donna. Your writings always encourage me! It has been interesting seeing the harvest in garments we clothe ourselves, armor we put on or carry, and in the fruit of the Spirit. Our ‘One Word’ has taken us on an interesting journey with the Lord this year. I’m thankful for His faithfulness.

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