Galatians 5:22 — Joy
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
You know what doesn’t make any sense? Joy in the midst of trials. The only explanation must be a supernatural one. Too often we think that “joy” means we have to be happy, and if we are not happy we are doing this “Christian” thing wrong. We think, “I’m going through a hard time and I don’t like it. I keep praying over and over for God to take it away but he doesn’t. I just must not trust him very much.”
That emotionally stuck place is where joy comes in. James 1 suggests that hardship is an opportunity for joy because we have secret inside spiritual information. From an earthly perspective, your situation may look grim. And it may in fact be grim here on earth. But faith-testing develops perseverance, which brings spiritual maturity and wholeness.
Joy is not a goofy smile with a delusional thought process that denies the hardship. “My life is falling apart, but I’m fine! No, sadness here!” Nope, joy is only possible through the Holy Spirit because we are suffering. Joy is the knowledge that God is in the middle of outsmarting Satan. When Satan is throwing his biggest party about what he is doing to your life, joy can increase because God is in the middle of his greatest spiritual victory.
Here’s your freedom for today: joy is knowledge of and faith in the eternal narrative.
Here’s your freedom for today: joy is knowledge of and faith in the eternal narrative. Satan doesn’t win, period. Not in your life, not in the world. Armed with this knowledge and faith in the victory of Christ, we gain determination to keep going. What can Satan really do to destroy you? Nothing. He can try a million ways and even destroy your physical body, but he cannot separate you from God’s love or rip out the deposit of the Holy Spirit that comes with surrender to Jesus. When we experience true joy, there is a sense of defiance against this world and its clutches. What does joy look like for you today? What is the enemy doing to make you suffer? Are there ways you can connect with an eternal perspective today that can help you keep fighting your uphill battle?