Fruit of the Spirit: Joy in Christ
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 HCSB
“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:11 NASB
How do we receive a full measure of joy? We find our joy in Christ!
Wendy Blight’s Bible Study Living So That helped me to stop when I read “so that” in Scripture and examine what is said before and after. It is a statement of consequences. What were these things Jesus spoke of in order for His joy to be in me — and made full?
The preceding passage and speech from our Lord and Savior is one of my favorites! And it’s just too good not to share…
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love;
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:1-11 NASB
So, how do we receive the joy of Christ within us?
We abide in Christ. We have a daily, continual, personal relationship with Him. Through prayer and studying His Word, we learn to trust and lean on Him in all things.
We recognize we are nothing without Christ and everything we accomplish is by His strength. When we abide in Christ and His Word abides in us — our prayers begin to echo His will and desires and our joy is in Him and accomplishing His plans for our life.
Our joy is made full when we keep the Lord’s commandments. When we abide in Him and His desires and will abide in us, it becomes a joy to be obedient as we recognize it is not keeping rules and regulations — it is honoring and pleasing our Creator and Father.
This passage also brings in the same original Greek word for fruit as we find in Galatians 5:22. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NASB — the way to grow the Fruit of the Spirit: Joy, is to abide in Christ!
When Jesus was preparing to leave His earthly ministry and return to His Father in Heaven, He prayed for you and me. In His prayer He echoed His John 15 teaching and prayed for us to find His joy in our lives.
“But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.” John 17:13 NASB
I just love that! It matters so much to our Lord Jesus Christ that we find a full measure of joy, which can only be received from Him, that He included it in His prayer just before going to the cross to suffer for us. In His suffering He was focused on our joy, so let’s focus on His joy in our own suffering!