Gal 5:22-23The topical word study:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. (NIV)
A positive attitude or pleasant emotion; delight. Many kinds of joy are reported in the Bible. This makes it difficult to give a simple definition of joy. Even the wicked are said to experience joy in their triumphs over the righteous (1 Cor 13:6; Rev 11:10). Many levels of joy are also described, including gladness, contentment, and cheerfulness.
But the joy which the people of God should have is holy and pure. This joy rises above circumstances and focuses on the very character of God. In the Psalms, for example, the psalmist rejoices over God's righteousness (71:14-16), salvation (21:1; 71:23), mercy (31:7), creation (148:5), word (119:14,162), and faithfulness (33:1-6). God's characteristics as well as His acts are the cause of rejoicing.
The joy required of the righteous person (Ps 150; Phil 4:4) is produced by the Spirit of God (Gal 5:22). This kind of joy looks beyond the present to our future salvation (Rom 5:2; 8:18; 1 Peter 1:4,6) and to our sovereign God, who works out all things for our ultimate good, which is Christlikeness (Rom 8:28-30). This kind of joy is distinct from mere happiness. Joy like this is possible, even in the midst of sorrow (1 Cor 12:26; 2 Cor 6:10; 7:4). (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
Usually some form of Heb. gil, to "leap," or "spin around" with pleasure; a stronger term than simha (Ps 30:5; etc.); masos (Job 8:19; etc.), rejoicing; Grk. chara (Matt 2:10), gladness; the cause or occasion of joy (Luke 2:10; 1 Thess 2:20).
1. Joy is a delight of the mind arising from the consideration of a present or assured possession of a future good. When moderate it is called gladness; raised suddenly to the highest degree it is exultation or transport; when the desires are limited by our possessions it is contentment; high desires accomplished bring satisfaction; vanquished opposition we call triumph; when joy has so long possessed the mind that it has settled into a temper, we call it cheerfulness. This is natural joy.
2. There is a moral joy, which is a self-approbation, or that which arises from the performance of any good actions; this kind of joy is called peace, or serenity of conscience; if the action be honorable, and the joy rise high, it may be called glory.
3. Spiritual joy is called a "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal 5:22); "joy in the faith" (Phil 1:25). Its objects are God Himself (Ps 43:4; Isa 61:10); the promises (Phil 3:3; 1 Peter 1:8); the gospel (Ps 89:15); the prosperity of Christ's kingdom (Acts 15:3; Rev 11:15,17); the happiness of a future state (Ps 16:9-11; Rom 5:2; 15:13). This spiritual joy is permanent (John 16:22; Phil 4:4) and unspeakable (1 Peter 1:8). (The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright © 1988.)
Father, thank you so much for this fruit. I can’t imagine living a life without joy. As everyone who knows me knows, my goal is to always do my best to make sure others around me experience joy or happiness or just plain fun when I’m around. We have so much negative in the world, I made it a goal long ago to not add to it if I can help it. However, it is an empty joy if it isn’t based on You. I would have been drained of my joy long ago were it not for You renewing my joy on a daily basis so that my well never runs dry. Help all those who know You always have a joy that attracts others to You with the question, “Why are you always so positive and happy?” Then let them use that opportunity to tell the person about You.