The 'Fruit of the Spirit' - Joy

Joy is a hard thing to understand and even describe, but I shall do my best. There are only a few occasions where I could say that I've been filled with complete joy. What's important to say first is, don't mix joy with happiness. Happiness is quick to gain but also quicker to lose. Joy is everlasting because those moments, those precious moments, are never lost. I cannot remember every single moment when I've been happy, but those moments in my life that stick in my mind where I felt so full, like nothing is missing, to me that's joy.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. - (Proverbs 17:22) 
There have been many times where my heart has felt 'heavy', like I was holding onto something that I needed to let go off; burdened may be the right term here. I would struggle through my everyday with no focus, no desire, no passion. I would feel tired all the time and have a general feeling of being fed up. We often hold onto things because we like to be in control of our circumstances and feelings. I've discovered that it's through letting go and realising that God knows what's best that comfort settles in with the knowledge that I have nothing to worry about.
Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right. May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord and praise his holy name! - (Psalm 97:11-12)
Joy is our assurance though out hard-times; that God is with us. I remember a specific moment where I was at a Christian camp called Soul Survivor. I was in the big tent in the main evening service, worshipping, praising God with everything I had. All of a sudden tears filled my eyes, my shoulders felt light, unburdened my the weight of my troubles and my heart filled with passion, desire ----> Joy! In that moment I felt free.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. - (Psalm 30:5)
Just because there are times in our lives that are hard does not mean that we cannot have joy in those circumstances. I can think of countless times where I've gone to bed fed up with my day, hoping that I can fall asleep quickly to leave it all behind. Where's my joy? In comparison I have had days which have been tough, challenging and for the most part frustrating, but then before I go to bed I thank God for my day, that he will continue to build me up, strengthen me for my days ahead but also I praise him for being my comforter and friend.

Joy comes from knowing that God layed down everything for us so that we have a chance to live freely, knowing that he has great and wonderful things ahead for us. There will be challenging times, but if our heart is in the right place and we live every day being the best that we can be, joy is right there within us, filling us up to overflowing.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. - (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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