Talk Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

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Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

The second fruit of the Spirit is joy. The word joyappears nearly 200 times in the Bible. Does that tell us something about our life? Joy is a condition of the heart.


In Greek, the word for joy is chara.This describes a feeling of inner gladness, delight or rejoicing. This inner gladness leads to a cheerful heart and a cheerful heart leads to cheerful behavior.



As a result, Joy is from within, regardless of what is going on around you. Happiness can be a blurred emotion, dependent on a situation. Joyful people make a commitment to gratitude regardless of the circumstances. Happiness can come and go depending on circumstances and experiences. True joy endures since it is rooted in a relationship with God. For the source of our joy is Christ. John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be fulfilled.


It is the joy of the Lord within us that bears the fruit of joy.  Pope Francis said: “Christian joy is peace, peace that is deeply rooted, peace in the heart, the peace that only God can give.”



And where Jesus is, there is also the Holy Spirit. To have the Holy Spirit within us is to be filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8). When one is filled with the Holy Spirit, the joy of the Lord wells up and over flows in one’s life and actions. Paul said: Rejoice in the Lord, always. That is, rejoice in the presence of the Lord, in his grace of salvation and the grace of sanctification, in the promises of the Lord, in his many gifts. Do we have a reason to be joyful.


We need to recall the words of C.S. Lewis: I think we all sin by needlessly disobeying the apostolic injunction to 'rejoice' as much as by anything else.





One of its attributes is joy can be found in the midst of adversity because of our faith in God. When the Apostles were flogged for preaching about Jesus, they rejoiced that they could suffer for the Lord. In spite of being falsely accused and imprisoned, Paul and Silas rejoiced in the Lord, singing the praises of the Lord.


Here are some quotes on joy or its absence.

How right was this agnostic who wrote, "I need to see you Christians depressed because in this way you confirm my thesis that God does not exist. It is when I see that you are happy that perplexes me!! Another atheist said: Christians don't have the look about them of a redeemed people. (Nietzsche) Pope Francis said: “a Christian who is discontented, a sad Christian, a dissatisfied, or worse still, resentful or rancorous Christian, is not credible.” Is this true of us? Are we witnesses of the presence of the Lord or the absence of the Lord?


In contrast, Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.(George Bernanos)It is contagious. For people don’t want to be around depressed, grumpy people. But they do want to be around people who exhibit the joy of the Lord.



To go further, Henri Bersgon said: “Joy is the certain sign that life has achieved its goal. 


The soul of one who loves God always swims in joy, always keeps holiday, and is always in the mood for singing. (John of the Cross)


This leads me to conclude with a story.

A Cloistered Carmelite Sister solved the problem of life in

 this way. Her name was Sister Catherine. She was preparing the midday meal for the sisters in her convent in Spain. She finished early. Nothing to do! So while waiting for the bell to announce the time of prayer, she took up four pots, put them on her head, and started a balancing skit in the small kitchen! She had hardly reached the door, when in came Mother Teresa of Jesus. Obviously, Mother Teresa could not help laughing seeing Sister Catherine doing this performance in the kitchen! "Gosh, Sister, what in the world are you doing?!" And then she remarked, "You are so lively! Even to heaven, you will be laughing...." To which Sister Catherine immediately answered ... "Why, Mother, is there any other way of going to heaven?!


Are we witnesses of joy or of hopelessness?

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