Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

Fruit of the Spirit – Day 17

Fruit of the Spirit 2: Joy

Bible text(s)

22But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these.

Galatians 5:22-23GNBOpen in Bible reader

6You imitated us and the Lord; and even though you suffered much, you received the message with the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 1:6GNBOpen in Bible reader

3We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4endurance brings God's approval, and his approval creates hope.

Romans 5:3-4GNBOpen in Bible reader

We all want to be happy. We like things that make us laugh and feel good about ourselves. We are happy when our day goes well or when we are on holiday or our rugby team wins. There is nothing wrong with any of that, but it is not what Paul is talking about here. In fact, Jesus never promised us that being a Christian would make us happy, but it will give us joy. So what is the difference?

The Greek word for joy is kevo, derived from the word charis, which is the Greek word for grace. This means that joy is not a human-based happiness that comes and goes depending on circumstances, but rather, true joy is divine in its origin; it comes from God. It is a Spirit-given expression that flourishes best in hard times. For example, in today’s verse, the Thessalonians were under great stress due to persecution; yet, in the midst of it all, they continued to experience great joy. We also have good reason to rejoice because of our trials, when we understand how God is using those trials to help us build godly character. More specifically, Paul wrote that “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).

Having this kind of joy does not necessarily mean grinning from ear to ear all the time. There will be times when we have nothing to smile about. It can be quite easy to put on a happy face and act as though life is perfect, even though we know it is not, but real joy is not about putting on a facade to fool everyone. It is about living out the real joy that is within us, the joy that comes with knowing our salvation in Christ is secure. A preacher once said, “Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God.”

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
Find us on