Joy! Fruit of the Spirit #2. Scripture clearly states God’s love surpasses knowledge (Eph 3:9) and His peace is beyond understanding (Phil 4:7), so we shouldn’t be surprised joy, sandwiched between love and peace, is also a challenge to fully comprehend. Complete and full joy is best seen through a pursuit of love, freedom, and gratitude . . . regardless of our circumstances. Let’s dive into His word to provide some clarity, contradict culture, and experience His true joy!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

We’re supposed to consider is pure joy when we face trials?! Interesting . . . So regardless whether you’ve read this verse above hundreds of times or this is the first time seeing these ironic words combined into truth, process each word above slowly.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Cor 12:8-10

So now He’s telling us to find joy in our weaknesses?! I know, right?! But just check out this passage – fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:12. Yes, you read that correctly. Jesus was crucified for JOY?! Let’s read The Passion Translation of this same scripture to provide a little clarity.

We look away from the natural realm and we focus our attention and expectation onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be His, He endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!

Hebrews 12:12 TPT

His heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be His! So when we read Romans 12:12 (below), we can see how even Jesus was joyful in hope of the future relationship we would have with Him.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12

We can be joyful in hope as we look towards the future. Like the woman described in Proverbs 31, through Jesus and His fruit of joy, we can be ‘clothed with strength and dignity’ and ‘can laugh at the days to come’. (Proverbs 31:25) I love the correlation of strength and dignity and the idea of completeness.

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

John 15:11

It’s super important to note that the entire fifth chapter of John leading up to verse 11 emphasizes how Jesus is the Vine, life to fullest is lived remaining in Him and remaining in love. Check it out here! And in connecting to the Vine, our joy can be complete! The fruit of joy is produced through the power of the Vine in us.

What’s even better is the joy found in doing life with other believers. Praying, supporting, encouraging, and loving each other in community. Paul mentions this in Phillippians 1. Because like we always say in Holy Barre, we’re better together!

“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 

Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:4-6, 18-19, 25‬

I pray that these truths actually fill you with joy! A joy, thriving from the Vine, rooted in gratitude, love, and freedom, that draws you closer and closer to Him. Regardless of our present trials, weaknesses, unknown future, etc, we rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. Because He is our source of joy! Our the overflow of His joy in us bears such beauty and power.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 

Phil 4:4

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