“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” – Gal. 5:22 (ESV)

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” – Col. 3:15 (ESV)

“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,” – Colossians 1:9 ESV)

“Spiritual understanding primarily consists in this sense, or taste of the moral beauty of divine things.” –Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections

The biblical teaching on the fruit of the Spirit was meant to be experienced – not just studied. It’s important to pursue God until we experience joy. The Father desires to fill us with “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Some well-intentioned Bible teachers warn us against subjective experiences. But, God created us in his image as emotional beings. And, if we are pursuing God with all our hearts, we should expect to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” I personally don’t fear subjective experiences – I trust God’s ability to lead me into all truth more than Satan’s  power to deceive me. We are called to live by faith and trust that feelings will follow.

Joy is a fruit of meditating on the Gospel. The Spirit uses the Word to cause our spiritual affections to be white-hot! The Gospel is good news that seems too good to be true – but it is! The fact God has granted me repentance and forgiven me of all my sins, overwhelms me. He takes my sin and gives me His righteousness. It’s called the great exchange. He poured out  his His grace and favor upon me, which is an unmerited gift.  His love is overwhelming and his salvation is free. We must acknowledge our sin and inability to change (without divine assistance) and offer ourselves to God. When we turn from our sin and trust Jesus – he will redeem us and restore us.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit.
Joy is part of our inheritance.
Joy belongs to the children of God.
Joy can be experienced during really hard times.
Joy brings hope to the heart.

We have peace with God as the result of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. This peace overrides our rational minds – it’s beyond our understanding.  Jesus paid our sin debt and removed the barrier that kept us from God’s presence. “In your presence there is fullness of joy.”  

Peace comes from the presence of God.
Peace can be experienced as we experience the truth of God’s word.
Peace comes from the knowledge that we stand justified in God’s sight.
Peace is the result of our security in Jesus.