Love is the foundation of Bible, Christian life and of the body of Christ. Just as the base of the building determines the stability of the entire building structure, so is the love, which is the base of the Christian life. Love is the driving factor and central theme in God' s heart and upon the fruit of Love is the operation of other fruits of the Holy Spirit structured. If we have love then we shall also have the Joy.
Joy refers to delight, pleasure, and enjoyment. The Joy that the Lord speaks off in Galatians 5 as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, refers to the spiritual state, it is in context of accepting God's authority and doing what the Lord Almighty asks us to do. We can have joy in God's creation, Joy of knowing God and having relationship with Him, Joy in praising and worshipping the Lord Almighty, Joy in reading the word of God, Joy in abiding in God's commandments, Joy in doing God's work, Joy in sharing God's love to others, Joy in testifying and witnessing God's goodness and faithfulness, Joy in sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, Joy in Christ's second coming and Joy in God's Eternal Life. Joy is the fruit of a right relation with God. It is not something people can create by their own efforts
Joy perceived by the world is attached with worldly possessions, which is gained through the monetary power. Worldly Joy satisfies human desires and feelings and is often gained from materialistic possessions. Worldly Joy is short-lived and it only fulfills the human desire and feeling for a time being and after some time it gets exhausted. Worldly Joy often seeks the benefit of the self and focuses on one's own priority and in the process of gaining worldly Joy often the poor and the destitute are neglected and exploited. While the Joy of the fruit of the Spirit is present and eternal and it quenches the thirst of the Soul, Spirit and Body. Because the Joy which the Lord speaks is from His origin and it is he who blesses it to us, it is free from materialistic possessions, it is free from exploitation, it cannot be purchased by worldly money and it is available to all those who believes in Christ Jesus and has accepted him as personal Lord & Saviour; So God's Joy is ever-present, un-exhaustive, and ever-lasting.
Bible says that, " The Joy of the Lord is my strength." When Psalmist says about the "The Joy of the Lord as his strength" it refers to the delight in keeping God's commandments, having fellowship with the Lord, trusting the Lord in all times and having strong faith in the Lord. When we pass through the times of troubles, persecution, trials and temptations even then also Joy of the Lord shall not decrease in us neither it shall loose its fruitfulness but will help us to remain humble before the Lord, trust in the Lord all times, wait upon him and thank him for his faithfulness and goodness.
The fruit of Joy is a important factor in an individual’s life, amongst the church and in the Lord's ministry. For if we lack the fruit of Joy in day-today Christian life and in the Lord's ministry then we will not have a compassionate approach towards the people, we cannot become fruitful, we cannot exalt and glorify the name of our Father in the heaven, we cannot sing songs and praises to the Lord Almighty, we will not be able to minister the people within the church and outside the church- for we shall we be complaining, fault-finding, murmuring, slandering, cursing, and even raging against God in our hearts. How often have we come across Christians, which fall under the above-mentioned category and to no surprise I and anybody else cannot also be excused from it. Rather then letting Christ- "The head of the Church" guide the church through His Holy Spirit and according to His Word, we run the Christ's church according to our ways and according to worldly laws and measures and the result is loss of Joy- first in walking and having fellowship with God and secondly with the fellow members of the body of Christ. The first century church grew rapidly and were steadfast in the love, Joy and faith of the Lord Almighty, even in the severe persecutions, trials and temptations because they submitted themselves in the hands of the Lord, Secondly they were ready to let God transform them into the image and likeness of His Son Christ Jesus through the fruits of the Holy Spirit, Thirdly they did not stopped preaching the Gospel rather they boldly proclaimed the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and this helped them to remain united in Spirit and Mind-ultimately blessing them to joyfully endure the pains and sufferings they had to go through for being the faithful witness of Christ Jesus.
Christ through his 3 parables: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Son and The Lost Coin, has wonderfully explained the theme of the parables which is "Joy" over one sinner who repents- this is why Christ endured the painful death on the cross of Calvary for the forgiveness of sins of the entire human race. Christ for-knew that He was chosen by the Lord to go through time of immense sufferings, rejection, persecution, hatred, false accusations, witnessing, flocking and beating unto the death on the cross of Calvary, yet He did not run away from God's plan rather He endured all these things and joyfully submitted himself in the hands of the Lord God Almighty. Christ being the Son of God did so because He knew the true source of Joy- that is anchored in the Heavenly Father, which is resulted due to the submission in, God's will, his word and his commandments. For when we do what the Lord says and submit to his will, it immensely pleases God, for we put trust in the Lord that all things are possible with Him and in all things He works together for good with those who love him and are called according to His purposes. It was Joy of the Lord Almighty in the life of Christ that helped him to endure persecutions and painful death on the cross of Calvary. It was the joyful submission of Christ Jesus in God's plan of Salvation that has brought us forgiveness of our sins and redemption of our soul and have established peace between us and the Heavenly Father.
Christ promised Joy to his disciples and all of us because He knew that the biggest hurdle "Sin"- which prevented mankind from having Joyful relationship and fellowship with God will soon been removed through His own pure and sacrificial blood as an atoning sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins of entire mankind. Until then men were not able to reach out to God and ask unto him, for there sins weren't cleansed once and for all through the blood of goats and rams, neither the unwilling and forceful keeping of the law helped them to have the Joy of the Lord Almighty, for they did not kept the law with heart of faith rather they kept laws and commandments out of fear and later on they used it as a tool of counting themselves better then others and holding them righteous in their own sights. Because of this mankind never experienced true Joy of serving God and had living relationship and fellowship with God. But thanks be to our Lord and Saviour Christ that through His blood now we can approach God and ask anything in his name and receive it so that our Joy may be full.
Therefore let us approach throne of God by faith in Christ Jesus and be full of Joy for He has promised, " Theses things have I spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." What's the Joy: Our sins are forgiven in Christ Jesus, We are new creation in Christ Jesus, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new in us, we have been blessed with the Holy Spirit, we are the parts of the body of Christ- Christ being the head of the Church, we are God's chosen race, King's priests, the holy nation, God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called us out of darkness into his own marvelous light for having joyful eternal life with Christ Jesus. And above all of these we have the Gospel “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people”.
When a person walks with the Lord, the person can continue to rejoice even when troubles come. Jesus spoke of those who could rejoice even when persecuted and killed (Matthew 5:12). Paul wrote of rejoicing in suffering because of the final fruit that would result (Romans 5:3-5). Both Peter and James also echoed the Lord's teachings about rejoicing in troubles (1 Peter 1:6-8; James 1:2).
Joy in the Lord enables people to enjoy all that God has given. They rejoice in family (Proverbs 5:18), food (1 Timothy 4:4-5), celebrations (Deuteronomy 16:13-15), fellowship (Philippians 4:1). They share with other believers the joys and sorrows of life: “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, weep with them that weep” (Romans 12:15).
May God bless each one of us with the fruit of Joy that shall help us to sustain in the fellowship of the Lord, with the family and the Church, outside the church and help us to remain faithful in trials, temptations, sufferings even unto the point of death while witnessing Christ, the risen Lord & Saviour.