Joy is a fruit produced by God’s Spirit and we all long to be joyful. People enjoy being around joyful people. The Spirit’s fruit of joy is a fresh reminder that we are a child of God because true joy is unknown divorced from our Creator. Our joy is closely related to the fact that we exist for His glory. Everything we do is because of Him. All that we are is because of Him. True joy for all humans comes forth when we perfectly reflect the glory of our Creator.
It is true that we will never experience this joy perfectly on earth. We are broken and we live in a creation that is subjected to futility because of this brokenness. We will never reflect the glory of our Creator perfectly until we see Him face to face when Christ returns. This does not stop us from seeking perfect obedience. Our striving for holiness in this life is called sanctification. The Spirit works in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Phil 2:13), and it is in this striving that our joy shines forth.
We are not slaves to sin, but rather long to be slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:19). The love of Christ compels us toward this. His love for us is powerful. It moved Him to die for our sins and is the source of our joy. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Our joy comes from our Creator. Our joy increases as we realize the depth of the powerful love of Christ. He is our hope and source of joy!
The love of Christ is rich and free;
Fixed on His own eternally;
Nor earth, nor hell, can it remove;
Long as He lives, His own He’ll love.
His loving heart engaged to be
Their everlasting Surety;
’Twas love that took their cause in hand,
And love maintains it to the end.
Chorus: Love cannot from its post withdraw;
Nor death, nor hell, nor sin, nor law,
Can turn the Surety’s heart away;
He’ll love His own to endless day.
The Love of Christ is Rich and Free , Words by William Gadsby
Romans 6:19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.