“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,”
Joy follows immediately after Love. And it has to because it is a natural spiritual consequence. For once the reality of God’s great, unconditional and never-ending love drops in a blaze of light from our minds into our spirits, and begins to develop there, nothing can halt joy from budding, flowering and bearing fruit. And this is the way God planned it for Jesus told us that,
- “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)
Without love joy is a fleeting sensation that lifts our spirits from time to time but never stays. When we know that we are loved joy is greater and stays longer. When that love is the love of God – a love that is unearned, unconditional and unending – joy is intended to become a permanent part of us.
This joy is not dependent upon worldly success and wealth, upon activity or even enjoyment. It comes with a realisation and acceptance that we have been saved from the separation and degradation of our sin. Not only that but we have been saved into the eternal salvation and fulfilment held out to us through the unconditional and life-giving love of the glorious and mighty Father. A true appreciation of the wonderful love of God for us, individually, leads us into the almost unbelievable joy of our forgiveness, acceptance and new identity in God – our identity as the sons and daughters of the eternal Father.
And the wonderful quality of this joy is that no matter what happens in our world the love of God, and the joy of that love and because of that love, can undergird and strengthen us – for this great and glorious God is ever-present, ever-loving and ever attentive to us.
True joy comes from true love – the knowledge of a true and deep love, and the wonder of loving in return. God’s love brings God’s joy to us. Ours brings joy to Him.
- “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
Keep dwelling on God’s love for you – allow it to bless you without making demands of Him
Father, may Your great love reach into the very depths of me, drawing my love to You, and leading me into the joy of our love. Amen.