But the fruit of the Spirit is…joy. – Galatians 5:22
As we saw yesterday, Christian joy is rooted in the forgiveness of sins in Christ. Christ was, “delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Even more, “we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 4:25-5:2). Christian joy is also rooted in the glories of the age to come which cannot perish, be defiled, or fade away (1 Peter 1:3-9). There is nothing wrong with rejoicing in blessings such as a wedding, the birth of a child, a new job, a Mozart symphony, etc. But ultimately our joy is in the glory that awaits us. Jesus said, “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
The joy of the age to come will far outweigh the sufferings of this present evil age (2 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 8:18). We are able to endure the sufferings of this age because the Spirit dwells within us and gives us a foretaste of the joy of the new heavens and earth, promised in God’s Word (Revelation 19:6-8; 21:1-4). The sufferings of this age are like the pains of a woman in labor. At times the pain is intense. But as a woman endures for the joy that awaits when the baby is born, so too we press on for the joy that awaits us when Christ returns (John 16:20-22).
Suggestions for prayer