Fruits of the Spirit: Joy

Galatians 5:22 (Amplified version)
“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness.”
Many times we inter-use the words joy and happiness but they do not have the same meaning. Happiness is mostly driven by circumstances, it is based on what’s happening on the outside. Joy on the other hand is an inside job, it springs forth from a knowing and settling that comes from the inside.
The word that is used for Joy is in this verse is the Greek word Chara (Pronounced Khar-ah) which means a cheerfulness that is calm, it is delight and gladness, to be exceedingly joyful, fullness. Now that’s amazing that the Spirit of God births a cheerfulness that is calm on the inside of us, one that springs from a place of fullness.
This cheerfulness, this delight and gladness must be anchored on something that is unshakable. It is not anchored on happenings and events but rather in a knowledge of God that is unshakable.
The bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. It is in knowing Him and the joy that is birthed in our knowing Him that becomes our strength especially in the times of trouble.
James 1 tells us to consider it pure joy when we go through persecutions because we KNOW that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. Hebrew 12 tells us concerning Jesus and it says that for the joy set before he endured the cross.
We cannot afford to be like a flag that is tossed about to and fro depending on the direction the wind is blowing. We cannot only be happy when things are great and then sad and doubting the promises of God when things are hard. We must allow the Spirit of God to birth in us a JOY that is unshakable, a joy that springs forth from a place of knowing the God you have believed in.
This Joy is anchored on the God who changes not, the God who can do the impossible, the God who has loved us with an everlasting love, the God who has promised that He has a good plan for our lives, the God who ensures that all things work together for good to them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.
As the song says, “This joy that I have, the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away!”
May we always carry this Joy that emanates from the inside and is not affected by the circumstances on the outside.
Do you have the Joy of the Lord and is it truly your strength? Do you get all sad and doubt the love of God towards you every time you have trouble in your life? Have you ever experienced true joy in your life, a joy that was not affected by outside circumstances? How has it affected your life? If you have not experienced it, ask the Holy Spirit to birth that joy in you.