Friday Focus – Joy

In this series we are looking at the fruits of the Spirit as mentioned in the book of Galatians and today the fruit we are looking at is the fruit of Joy.

The reading that I have chosen is taken from the book of John chapter 15 verses 9 to 11.

“As the father has loved me so have I loved you. Now remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. It is by remaining in God’s love that we experience complete joy”.   

And the thing that immediately strikes me as I read that verse is how the fruits of the spirit are working together. It is by remaining in God’s love that we experience complete joy. We can’t have joy without love, or peace. Proverbs chapter 12 verse 20 tells us “There is deceit in the heart of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace.”   

So what do we mean by joy? Dictionary definitions will include a feeling of great happiness, the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” But biblical joy goes much deeper than that. It is more than just an emotion. It is a contentment, and a confidence, that is not dependent upon circumstances, but stems from our choice to follow Jesus  which in turn allows us to be led by the Holy Spirit and show the fruits of  the spirit, including joy.

And when I think of joy, my mind turns to 2 wonderful Christian friends, Rocio & Eileen, who would just radiate joy. Eileen is no longer with us, but I know a conversation or a time spent with her, or with Rocio, would leave me feeling better than before that meeting. Now they did not have lives free of tribulations. But like Paul in the New Testament they knew the truth of the words in Nehemiah chapter 8 “The joy of the Lord is your strength”. They chose to show joy, to experience joy and to radiate joy. And in Paul’s case, he could do that, even in a prison cell. Now that should be a challenge to each one of us, to be content in the presence of Christ, and confident in the hope of Christ.

So, in the same way that Angela encouraged us to choose love, when she spoke a couple of weeks ago, let us choose joy in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.

Let’s pray.

Lord help us to remain close to you, in order that we can live lives that honour you, and experience the joy that can only come from you.

We pray this in Jesus name and for His glory.


Thank you for listening today and I encourage you to join us next week as we consider another fruit – the fruit of forbearance.  

May God bless you.          

Written by Mr Trevor Lane, an Elder at Christ Church Tonbridge United Reformed Church