In the first part of this series, we looked at the idea of love being part of the fruit of the Spirit. The next in line; joy. In the Greek, “joy” is chara, and carries the idea of gladness with it. Now, one of the things I want to avoid, and to actually teach against is the idea that believers will walk around with silly grins on their faces, with everything in their worlds going fine.
We have a lot of health and wealth prosperity preachers out there pedaling this ideology; one that is definitely not found in scripture pertaining to believers in this life, in fact we are promised tribulation. But look at what John says here;
John 16:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
The word “joy” here is the same chara, as I mentioned before. This dismisses the idea of shallow, earthly joy. The kind of joy spoken of that comes from the Spirit happens despite hardship. I find it interesting that the context of John 16 is that Jesus is talking of the upcoming crucifixion and the fact that the disciples will become sorrowful, but eventually, they shall rejoice. We too are promised a meeting with Jesus, and what a joyous event that will be! However, while we are still on this earth, we can have a taste of that via the Holy Spirit working in us to produce that joy in the face of our suffering here.
Jesus goes on to counsel that when they become joyful, no one will ever be able to take that away from them. At Pentecost we get the very Spirit of God that produces that same joy in us, and because it flows from God to us, and we are sealed with the Spirit, no one can take that type of joy from we modern day believers either…