Fruit of the Spirit (2): Joy

“The fruit of the Spirit is JOY……..”(Galatians 5:22). I can still remember my surprise when I first noticed the third line of the hymn “All People That on Earth Do Dwell.” It clearly said, “Him serve with mirth.” I had recently become a Christian and I thought that mirth, laughter, joy and fun were some of the things that would have to go in my life. I was too young as a Christian to have heard the words of C.S. Lewis that “Joy is the serious business of heaven.”
Peter speaks of, “Joy inexpressible”(1 Peter 1:8). C.T. Studd a pioneer missionary in the 19th century called this DELIRIUM GAUDENS – a “deliciousness of rejoicing.”
In the 16th century William Tyndall described the Christian gospel as, “Good, merry, glad and joyful tidings, that makes a mannes hert glad, and make the hym singe, dance and leep with joy.”
The secret, of course, is our experience of Christ. The keen mind of Blair’s Pascal made that discovery on the evening of November 23rd 1654. Two hours later he tried to put his experience down on paper. He wrote, “Joy, Joy, Joy tears of joy.” Before his conversion he disliked the “follies and amusements of the world.” Now he was so completely changed that his sister was shocked by his “effervescence.”