The joy I have, in Jesus my Master, is a gift from God. I don’t screw my courage and become happy automatically. Of course, I must decide to accept it. Gifts aren’t gifts if they aren’t received.
We also know that joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Fruit goes through a growing process, from seed to tree to fruit. It must be cultivated. There is a role for me there as well.
Literally, the “fruit of the Spirit” is what happens when the Holy Spirit indwells a believer. The “fruit” is the product of the Holy Spirit’s cultivation of character in a heart. Galatians 5:22-23 describes what that fruit looks like; the second characteristic listed is joy.
For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. | (Romans 14:17).
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
- Nehemiah 12:43 — 43 and on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar.
- 2 Chronicles 20:27–28 – 27 Then all the men of Judah and Jerusalem turned back with Jehoshaphat their leader, returning joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord enabled them to rejoice over their enemies. 28 So they came into Jerusalem to the Lord’s temple with harps, lyres, and trumpets.
- Job 8:21 — 21 “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouting.”
- Ecclesiastes 2:26 — 26 For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.
- Isaiah 9:3 — 3 You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
- Acts 13:52 — 52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 14:15–17 — 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 “In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; 17 and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”