Breakdown – The Mask: Part 3.1 (JOY)

“Is there good fruit?”

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

Throughout this “Mask” series, I have often found myself unable to condense the points I wanted to get across. The Mask: Part 3 was no exception. In what was planned to be a post highlighting all the fruits of the Spirit, as stated here in Galatians, it ended up a post centered around the fruit of Love individually. I couldn’t argue with how well it was coming together, so instead of squeezing in all the other fruits at the end of the post, I found it to be more appealing to give the remaining fruits the justice they deserve and write a separate breakdown for each of them. Because like masked love, as talked about in the original post, these fruits too can be masked. These fruits can be presented as frauds, not emanating from the Holy Spirit. My goal is to challenge your heart by questioning the validity of the “so-called” fruit evident in your life. Is the fruit good, or is it rotten? Is it real, or is it plastic and fake?

Is there real Joy?

Think of all the simple things in life that make you happy. Maybe its coming home from work after a long day. Maybe its getting to see that friend you haven’t seen in ages. Maybe its the simple pleasures of life like a good meal or getting to take a long nap. The distinction between happiness an joy have seemingly dwindled to almost being synonymous terms nowadays. But the Bible is quite clear on what true joy actually is. Several times it is described as “fullness” or “completeness.” To be lacking of nothing and to be truly satisfied. Joy is an unconditional satisfaction of the heart in a way that temporary happiness never can be. Happiness in contingent upon those individual things that are pleasing to you in the moment, but when the moment passes by, the happiness leaves with it. Joy is when that high-spiritedness remains intact throughout the day when you are busy at work. Joy is when it remains when you are unable to be with those you love. Joy is when nothing can truly keep you down, knowing that God is above it all. There is no joy for the person who wanders looking for satisfaction in every little thing that they can get their hands on. Because so often, the “happiness” people stumble towards to cure their broken spirit are only to fill the void joy is prolongingly meant to. And those items of happiness are often things that are evil in the face of God and only bring you down lower in the long run. The happiness sin gives is only temporary and will always have you coming back for more when the feeling floats away. It is instantly gratifying, and numbs what true joy could be in your life. Joy is everlasting because it is only found in Christ the everlasting, and by the moving of the Holy Spirit inside those who truly know him as Lord and Savior. It sees beyond all that would naturally cause us to fall, to a God who has offered redemption and an eternal escape from this dying world. THAT is cause for Joy!

The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. – Proverbs 10:28

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