When some people walk into a room, they bring joy; others bring joy when they walk out of a room. Which one are you?
This week on Kingdom Bloggers, we’re discussing joy, the second fruit of the Spirit.
I have a Mennonite heritage. Mennonites are known for their hard work but rarely are they known for their joy (probably because they aren’t “allowed” fermented drinks). I remember looking at old family portraits, and asked my oma why no one was smiling and she said, “Work in this life, joy in the next.” A few years ago, I buried my last living grandparent. I couldn’t help but be glad for her because finally she was going to enter into joy – true joy – joy she felt wasn’t for this lifetime.
I don’t want to wait until I’m dead to have joy. I want to be the party, not kill it. Blessedly, I’ve broken through the heritage of joyless work and learned to remain and abide in Christ, which expresses itself in joy. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and it is legally and rightfully mine to cultivate and spread in this life. There will be no other time in eternity to express joy in a joyless situation. Heaven is full of joy; I believe the blessing is to consider it pure joy, now, when I experience tests of endurance for the Kingdom. We won’t have that opportunity in the next life.
Joy is the fruit of knowing I’m loved by Jesus, by Holy Spirit and by Father God. Love is the first fruit of the Spirit and we wrote about it last week but I can’t get off the subject. I’m stuck on love. Love makes me joyful, it makes me rejoice and it brings me up from the pit so I can always have joy – no matter where I am or what is happening around me.
I walk confidently toward the future, full of joy, because my God wins. Full stop. Our God wins. Is there work to do now? Yes, but do it joyfully because our God wins. Joy is confidence in a God so big, there is none like him, nor is there none before him. In the face of injustice, I have joy because God’s heart is tender towards the orphan and the widow, and the crippled and the lame. He promises justice; God is faithful to his word so I can have joy about it.
Remember the old song from Sunday School days, I’ve got joy like a fountain? It’s true. The fountains in Rome are legendary and are a spectacle. People stop and look at them and enjoy the beauty. I want to be the fountain of joy, where people come to refresh themselves – a meeting place and a place to remind them of hope when all joy is gone. Because it’s a fruit that is meant to continually reproduce itself, I have joy to give others.