Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Fruit, however, does not grow overnight — it must be cultivated over time. Similarly, the fruit of joy must be cultivated daily if we expect to see it produced in our lives. Like any fruit-bearing tree, once a seed is planted, we must subject ourselves to the constant watering of the Holy Spirit, being continually filled with His presence in order for the fruit of joy to mature in our lives (Ephesians 5:18).
We have a part in cultivating the fruit of joy in our lives. In Psalm 103, David declares, “Praise the Lord, O my soul.” David was basically saying “Soul, I know that you do not want to praise God right now, but you are not in charge of my life — I am. So, I will bless the Lord.” Everything we do in the Kingdom is done by choice through our will. We love, forgive, serve, give, and praise God by choice, through faith, with the grace that God gives us to be able to do it. This is true for joy as well. Joy is not an optional fruit of the spirit that we can just forget about.
Many places I travel, people have a difficult time with the issue of joy; however, the subject of joy is not lacking in the Bible. In fact, Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness above all his companions. I have come to see that a glad Jesus really messes with people’s theology. It is interesting that we will focus on Jesus through the lens of turning the tables over in the temple or rebuking the Pharisees, but the very thing that He came to accomplish on this earth involved being an embodiment of the fullness of joy. Jesus is joy manifested in flesh, and we are called, like Jesus, to carry and release the joy of the Lord everywhere we go.
Are you still having a tough time with the issue of joy? Here are some verses to saturate your life with the truth about the power of joy.
Nehemiah 8:10- The joy of the Lord is my strengthPsalm 16:11- In His Presence is fullness of joyRomans 14:17- The Kingdom of God is not eat or drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
As you go throughout your day today, meditate on these verses. Give yourself opportunities to grow in the joy of the Lord by getting in His Presence and soaking it all up. What you spend your time putting in is what will come out. If you are so focused on your circumstances or that problem in your life that you don’t allow yourself to experience the joy of the Lord, then I have a suggestion for you- Take a BIG drink!
Joy is the medicine from Heaven provided to help us live full and well lives. It is God’s nutritious Heavenly fruit to overcome the affects of sin and death. It is important, then, to take our daily dose of joy in increasing measure to ensure that we are carrying His presence and power.