I want the joy of the Lord. I want to be more than happy. I want to celebrate God’s victory in my life. I want to show the goodness of God. God promises, through the power of the Holy Spirit, it will grow like fruit. Now that is some good news.
The “fruit of the Spirit” is what happens when the Holy Spirit indwells me. The “fruit” is the product of the Holy Spirit’s cultivation of character in my heart. Galatians 5:22-23 describes what that fruit looks like; the second characteristic listed is joy.
The Greek word for joy is chara. Joy is the natural reaction to the work of God, whether promised or fulfilled. Joy expresses God’s kingdom — His influence on earth “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17). The Spirit’s production of joy can manifest in several different ways:
The joy of deliverance. When God sets someone free, rejoicing is in order. I was tied up missing God’s goal (aka sin). Jesus, my Master, set me free. I am now His slave.
- 1 Samuel 2:1: Hannah was filled with joy at her deliverance from her enemies.
- Acts 12:14: The servant girl was so overjoyed that God had rescued Peter from prison that she forgot to let Peter in the house.
- Exodus 18:9: Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the Master had done to Israel, in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians.