“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness-”
The two fruits following love, I believe, should go together. You can’t have one without the other. Let me rephrase that, you can’t have complete joy without complete peace or vice versa.
What is true joy and peace then?
Let’s begin with joy.
Joy reminds me of a pineapple. “Why in the world does a pineapple remind Anna of a joy?!” Just think about it for a sec. Let me try to explain myself.
A pineapple looks like a treasure. It is a treasure because inside of the pineapple is something sweet and delicious. The outside looks happy, but inside is where the true joy is.
“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.”
This song of David came to mind when thinking of pure joy. It talks about thanking and praising God, but it also shares how much David had joy in the Lord. In this song, he tells us why He has this kind of joy.
Know that the Lord, He is God. David knew. If we have a relationship with Him then we know too. Pure joy comes from knowing the Father as Lord.
It is He who has made us. We didn’t make ourselves, for we are created! He made us fearfully and wonderfully, marvelous are His works and that my soul knows it very well.
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. How great it is that God protects us and watches over us. He chose us to be apart of His pasture! Pure joy is knowing that He is the Great Shepherd.
What does joy literally mean?
I always like to find more than one description.
This is from Google’s Dictionary: “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.”
And this is Noah Webster’s 1828: “is a delight of the mind, from the consideration of the present or assured approaching possession of a good.”
I like the later of the two descriptions the best. Possession of good. What good? Jesus. We have the greatest good living inside of us. Ultimately, Jesus brings true joy. We can look all over and try to fill ourselves with things like pizza, or games, or social media, etc. But none of those things will ever bring us eternal joy. Eternal joy is everlasting joy and that only comes through knowing the Savior.
Okay, then what is peace?
Back to the fruit reference, peace reminds me of a simple peach. Peaches hold a sweet and savory taste that reflects on softness. The outside is so soft that “peach fuzz” is a common term for softness. Peace resembles peaches for the contentment they bring.
“-and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Through knowing Jesus, we can inherit peace. The sweetest kind of peace there is. The peace that passes all understanding doesn’t make sense most of the time. In situations that the world wants us to be afraid or nervous or anxious, God brings peace so we don’t have to worry.
I like this description of what peace is in both of these cases.
Google’s Dictionary: “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.”
Noah Webster’s 1828: “Heavenly rest; the happiness of heaven.”
Freedom. We have the freedom of what? Freedom from sin and the distractions of this world. It can be hard sometimes to notice things and get worried and try to put it in our hands to take care of our situations. But God gave us something so precious that we take for granted all the time. If we believe in Christ, we have peace that passes all understanding. Just imagine the next time you feel at peace, you are receiving the happiness of heaven.
How do I get these two fruits?
Physically speaking, the fruit of the world comes from what? Trees, sunlight and water, right? The fruits of the spirit, however, come from the Branch. The Branch named Jesus.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
Why do they go together?
Like I said, before you can’t have one and not the other. Do I believe that you can decline these gifts from above? Yes, if we choose to ignore the Lord and focus on something different than His Word, we can easily be distracted by the things of this world. Which makes us turn to our own trust and belief. We have the opportunity to drink from the fountain of living water, but do we?
I have to admit that sometimes I feel like I don’t need Him. I feel like I can try to do it on my own because “it’s easier” and “I don’t have time to ask.” Then God shows me just how wrong I am.
The other day I neglected to have my quiet time and so I played on my phone until I had enough time to fix my hair and go out the door. I had a long day that day and forgot my change of clothes for work. I was there later than planned and I was hangry most of the day. School earlier was a waste of time because we didn’t do anything important. I felt like I was running on empty. They placed me in the dreaded lane 6 (the tobacco lane) at Walmart for hours. As I was leaving, I dropped a gallon of paint and felt awful for leaving maintenance to clean it up. Later on that day I reflected back on how it started with my selfishness. I didn’t pray at all. Not once. I didn’t even talk to God while driving like I normally do. Why? Because I wanted to be in the pilot seat.
I neglected His word and thought I didn’t need Him. Well, that is far from the truth. Without Him, I was a disaster. We have the choice to let Him reign in our lives and to be apart of His joy and peace. Complete joy is knowing the Father, but if you’re not talking to Him, then how do you know? Pure peace is from Him as well.
I pray that you learned something new from these two fruits of the spirit.