But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence)…
— Galatians 5:22-23 (AMPC)
– by Joyce Meyer
Doubt and unbelief will steal our joy, but simple childlike believing releases the joy of God’s Spirit Who lives in us. As we see in today’s verse, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is joy, and since He lives in us, we as believers should be able to enjoy our lives and express His joy.
We might look at it like this: Joy is in the deepest part—the spirit—of the person who’s accepted Jesus as their Savior. But if that person’s soul (their mind, will, and emotions) is filled with worry, discouraging thoughts, excessive reasoning, doubt, and unbelief, these negative things will act like a wall and hold back the fruit of joy that God has for them.
The apostle Peter says to cast all our care (anxieties, worries, concerns) on the Lord (see 1 Peter 5:7). Paul encouraged the believers of his day to Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV)
I want to challenge you today to begin to give God the things that are on your mind. Ask Him for the grace to trust Him with the things you can’t change. As you start to let go of worry, you’ll experience more and more of His joy.
Prayer Starter: Father, please help me today to let go of the worries and doubts that crowd my mind. I want to trust You more and experience the joy You have for me. Thank You for helping me grow in this area, and for the gift of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.