The Fruits of the Spirit: Joy

 Devotion No. 3

March 2009

Galatians 5:22- “The Fruit of the Spirit is…Joy…”

Joy… what is it? It is so often mistaken as happiness. While yes, happy is a synonym of joy, there is a difference between the two. Happiness is an emotion that we experience when something delightful happens to us. We can find happiness in so many things. I’m happy when I’ve bought a new shirt or when I go somewhere with friends or family. I’m happy when my day goes well or when my sisters make me laugh. But these things that make me happy are not always there and they do not last long. Sure, they may last a day but not a lifetime. I can be happy with my friends and family when I’m with them or be happy when my sisters make me laugh but as soon as that moment is over, my mind is filled with the things that must be done and with the cares and worries of this world. Trials, troubles, and temptations hit me and the feeling of happiness is gone. I can begin feeling empty on the inside when happiness is not always there… but that’s where joy comes in.

Joy is so much more than an emotion. Emotions don’t last. Joy is something that is in you no matter what the circumstance or situation. No matter the trial, temptation, trouble, worry or care, Joy is still there. Joy comes from something greater than any worldly pleasure. In John 16:33, Jesus told us that we would have troubles and trials. When these times of pain and testing come in our life, it is so hard for us to be happy and rejoice in the Lord. But he told us to rejoice ALWAYS in the Lord…(Phil 4:4) No matter the situation. He didn’t say, when everything’s going great, when you’re up on the mountain, rejoice in me. No, he said ALWAYS. That means in the good and the bad times. That’s why I’m going to define joy as the sacrifice of praise. When we’re up on the mountain and everything’s going great, it is very simple for us to thank the Lord for his blessings and praise him for being so good to us. But it’s when we get in that valley that we have a hard time praising him. We want to look at God and say “Why God?”, “Why do I have to go through this valley?”, “What have I done to deserve this?” It’s so hard for us to be content and happy in a situation where everything seems against us. But you know what, I can still find Joy. And instead of saying why, I can say, “LORD what do you want me to learn about you this time?

We can still have Joy no matter the situation because it’s not found in what pleases me but its found in CHRIST!!! I can still have my Joy in any problem because I’m not basing it on my emotions, or what I can do, but on who He is and what He has done for me. God himself is Joy! Psalm 43:4 says, “Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.” (KJV)

If he’s abiding in me like I talked about in my first devotion, than I have Joy living inside of me. I can get my joy from knowing I’m a child of God. He saved me from sin and hell, when I was a wicked sinner and deserved what I had coming to me, judgment and eternity in Hell. But through the blood of his Son He saved me, Praise the Lord! If I can’t ever find another reason to be joyful, I can always be joyful for his salvation.

I can find my joy in His promises. Did you know that there are over 8,800 promises in the bible? That’s a lot of promises, but you know, He’s going to keep every single one of them. No matter what you are going through the Lord has a promise for you. Just trust him in obedience. He will not break those promises. He’ll will keep it.

You see my friend, joy is not found in human existence, nor is it found in the things of this world, for they will let me down, and soon fade away. But God will never let me down, and he is as the Bible says the immutable God! A God that never changes! Mal 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Heb 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” The joy that I find in HIM is everlasting. It’s permanent. John 16:22 says, “…your joy no man taketh from you.” Remember though, Joy is produced in your life through your walk with God. You have to continue to abide in him and his Spirit will produce joy. One way for sure, your joy will suffer, is if you are not walking with God. Get the picture? The Key is ABIDING IN HIM!

The definition of this joy that we have in Christ is indefinable, it’s unexplainable. There are no words in any language that could explain the joy that we find in God. One author said it is a “joy beyond speech.” I would have to agree with that. It is a joy that is unlike any happiness I could ever experience here on earth. In 1 Peter 1:8, Peter tells us that it is “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” It can’t be expressed. As one old southern preacher said in a meeting my family and I were in once, “Its better felt then tell’t!” AMEN!

Philippians 4:11 says “…for I have learned whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” No matter the circumstance, situation, test, trial, tribulation, persacutation or trouble, you can be content and joyful because you know your joy is found in someone far greater than man or materialistic possessions. It’s found in Christ. Even though you have pain, you can still have joy. A preacher once said, “Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God.” If you have God, you have the source, sum, salvation, and security of Joy! Now in every situation that life throws your way you can have Joy. God has stepped in!

In the next few months to come we will be studying Peace. This is the third fruit of the Spirit. I am already excited about what I am learning on the subject of Peace. If you have any questions or comments, or prayer requests we would love to hear from you.
Just email me at My sisters and I will pray that in everything, you will find joy. I pray this devotion was a help to you, and that you continue to serve him. God bless you!

Isaiah 26:3-4
Emily Sampson