- is one of the Fruits of the Spirit
- is the abiding sense of being loved by God and of being permanently established in His presence
- may emerge along with the acceptance of suffering as a participation in the mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection
- may alter the nature of pain and hardship as we experience them
- may become bliss, the fullness of joy
- FG: 18-19
- HW: 18-20
- OMOH: 77, 85-86, 112-113, 129
- *OMOH: 73, 84-85, 124-125, 161
- BP: 111-112
- KH: 75-79
- JC: 105-106
The Fruit of Joy is an abiding sense of well-being based on the experience of a conscious relationship with God. It is the sign of liberation from the false self and the growing awareness of the True Self.
As a Fruit of the Spirit, Joy signals the growing awareness of the True Self. Joy is the experience of the living water that flows from the divine source out of our inmost being, which Jesus spoke about in John’s Gospel (John 7:37-39). The fullness of joy is bliss.
Suffering is the conscious experience of pain. Sacrifice can also involve conscious pain but it is primarily an attitude. The attitude of sacrifice can transform suffering into joy when it is perceived to be a participation in the mystery of Christ’s passion, a way of sacrificing oneself to express, to the utmost degree, one’s dedication to God. What is normally experienced as painful on one level of our evolving consciousness is not necessarily experienced as painful when we move to a higher level.
Christ’s love manifests itself in His sheer vulnerability which made Him wide open to suffering and to joy. On this level, pain is joy and joy is pain. Divine love transforms ordinary pain into the gift of joy. Joy reveals a way of expressing a greater love for God in the midst of pain that would otherwise not be possible.
Joy is an abiding sense of well being. Bliss is the fullness of joy.
What are indications of joy in your life? How does joy affect your experience of pain and suffering?
Learn to recognize God’s abiding love and presence. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say Rejoice.” (Phillippians 4:4)