The Fruit of the Spirit is, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control;
Against Such Things There Is No Law.
When reading Galatians 5:22-23, did you notice how the passage says, " The Fruit and not the Fruits" of the Spirit?
Why does Paul refer to the fruit singularly and not in a plural form?
I have heard some explain the Fruit of the Spirit this way- The source of "Fruit" is Love. That is why "Love" is the first listed.
Picture a beautiful waterfall cascading down upon all that is below it -
Love spills over and fills joy...
Love spills over and fills joy which spills over and fills peace…
Love spills over and fills joy which spills over and fills peace which spills over and fills patience, and so on.
The Fruit of Love Is Joy (Joy Comes from Love)
The Fruit of Love Is Peace (Peace Comes from Love) etc.
Which then produces, Loving Joy or Loving peace…loving kindness spilling over and filling goodness…
Which makes all the fruit – singular since “they” stem from one singular place – Love.
Since we are human and we are taught from a young age to have good manners or to be kind, we somehow think that the "fruit of the Spirit" can be mustered up from our own human effort.
This "fruit" is the product of the Holy Spirit’s cultivation of character in a person's heart —not from our own effort. There is no amount of human determination that can produce true spiritual fruit - The Holy Spirit alone grows His fruit to a humble and yielded heart.
Let's first address the difference between Joy and Happiness
Happiness – is circumstantial. ThinkChristmas morning with a beautifully decorated tree, surrounded with presents and family. Or, winning a coveted award after much work, or finding out your crush has a crush on you as well, or even deeper still, your cancer results come back negative.
Happiness has to do with life going the way you want it to go and all the feelings that come with it.
Happiness is when everything is going well, filled with moments stacked on top of each other – makes us "feel happy."
Joy in the Old Testament is described as a quality of life as well as emotion despite circumstances.
The songs in the Psalms show us this kind of joy songs of spontaneous worship that celebrate Who God is and Who He is to you and your love for Him and His character.
Joy is also described in the New Testament as a feeling of amazement in response to God’s grace and mercy, and the hope that is connected to us having now having Jesus knowing our eternity with Him far outweighs our momentary suffering in this world.
As heavy as life can be, we can look to Jesus and what He endured for us and be reminded of His good and faithful love, and we can read God's word and to fill our heart and mind with hope and even joy during those difficult moments.
The book of Psalms is full of moments of joy during very hard and dark times in the author’s life.
Joy is something that is experienced despite circumstances.
Joy can replace disappointment on Christmas morning when you didn’t get what you really wanted but still feel a deep joy because you know Christmas is more than just stuff and you are thankful for family all God has given you. Or not winning the award you hoped for, but instead thanking God for the opportunity to use your gifts for His glory and inspire others with them to point to Jesus. And that crush you hoped was interested in you, but realize God has someone better for you and that His love will satisfy you no matter what - deeper still, your cancer has not left and learning to find God at the center of that pain and being open to what God is going to do in the midst of this very hard and painful situation, trusting He won’t leave your side.
When life is hard, there are opportunities to find Joy in the midst of suffering, hurt and disappointment.
Joy reaches beyond the “feel good” and goes to the heart of our belief and faith.
in the One we call Lord, God, Father, Savior, Friend
The fruit of Joy is having complete confidence in God, despite how you feel, what is going on around you. Knowing that your God, is bigger than anything we are experiencing.
Joy is knowing that you are being held in the arms of your Savior.
Now, this does not mean that we live with a fake smile plastered on our faces. No one expects that of you in hard days - not even God.
But in these times, we can meet God, see God, grow in God, and encounter God in ways we won’t when life is running smoothly.
God calls us and invites us to be real with Him…as the Psalmist was.
He invites us to bring our feelings of hurt, disappointment, frustration, fear, and anger and more. He invites us to be real with Him. In the midst of hardships if we allow God into our pain, we will come to know Him in a much deeper and personal way, and oddly enough...
He will become our joy
“Splendor & Majesty are before him; strength & Joy in his dwelling place” 1 Chronicles 16:27
At the core of our hardships there is “strength and joy found in His dwelling place,” and we can find joy resting in the knowledge that Jesus does love you and that,
"In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
How Do we Find Joy in God?
We find joy in God’s presence:
If we are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to draw us to God, through His word, through prayer, through worship of singing, God's presence will fill us, and we will experience true joy. Psalm 16:11: “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
We find joy because of salvation:
As a follower of Christ, our greatest joy is found at the foot of the cross when we reflect on what Jesus did for us.
To focus on how God saved us by making a way for us to spend eternity with Him - with no suffering - no pain.
Luke 15:7: All heaven is joyful when a person accepts God’s provision of salvation.
Joy is a gift as well as a response to God.
Joy comes when we are aware of God’s grace and live with a grateful heart for Who He is and What He has done for you.
When we yield to the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God’s beauty and grace that fills us and surrounds us. Romans 15:13
Joy cannot fully be found in this world; yes, there are moments of happy/joy filled with loved ones and beautiful sunsets, but true joy will only be found in a relationship Jesus. He makes our joy complete 1 John 1:4
When you are ready, I would encourage you to open up your bible or download a bible app and read through the pages of Psalms.
You will find direction, great encouragement. hope and joy there as did the author as he penned his hearts cry to His Creator and King - the One he chose to put his trust in and find joy in - amidst his trials and hardships.
Psalm 16:11- You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 28:6,7- Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. 7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.