Galatians 5: 22,23 says: By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
This is a continuation of our series on the fruits of the Spirit in crafting. You can find the other posts under this page: Fruits of the Spirit in Crafting.
Ah … joy. Or should I say, Joy! Or perhaps JOY!!!!? If I sound a little cynical, it’s because a melancholy like me finds “joy” difficult to come by. It’s not that I walk around with a cloud above my head and looking at the negative side of everything like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. It’s just that it takes me a little while to get revved up enough to be truly excited. Like someone chooses his or her battles carefully, past experience has taught me to choose my excitement carefully.
It’s a good thing that joy is not the same thing as happiness or excitement.
Webster’s Dictionary defines joy as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” The second definition also says, “a source or cause of great happiness: something or someone that gives joy to someone.”
Happiness is “feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation …”
From the way these two definitions are written, it looks like happiness comes and goes as your life situation changes. Joy is a state of being. Webster’s also mentions that joy has a source. As a Christian, the source of my joy comes from God. It is a fruit of the Spirit and comes from our love for God.
In crafting, art or any creative pursuit, joy is inherent. In other words, as we perfect our craft, art, or other creative pursuit such as music or writing, gardening, cooking, or anything that we do, a feeling of joy often wells up from deep within. This joy takes place because we are participating in something that is basic to our very nature. It’s kind of like the joy we feel when someone comes to know Christ, or when we hear the truth being spoken. God, who is our creator, is basic to our nature so we feel joy when good things happen for God or when we hear the truth about God. Joy also comes when we participate in the very activity that God created us to do. Because God is creative, we humans are designed to be creative as well. Creativity reflects the nature of God in us and this brings joy.
When I feel joy while crafting, it usually comes as a deep sense of well-being or satisfaction. How does it come to you?
A word of caution, however. Because we are imperfect people who often become entangled by life’s problems, we may not always feel joy even when we are doing something we truly love. Good feelings are largely based on whether or not we are happy, which is a product of circumstance. A lack of feeling does not necessarily mean that I do not have joy; it may simply mean that I do not feel joy for whatever reason. I look forward to heaven because we will undoubtedly feel joy all the time. On earth it just isn’t going to happen, but thank God when it does because it is a great feeling.
*Fruit of the Holy Spirit, Stained glass window at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, depicting the Fruit of the Holy Spirit along with role models representing them, i.e. the Good Shepherd representing love, an angel holding a scroll ofGloria in excelsis Deo representing joy and Jesus Christ, Job representing longsuffering, Jonathan faith, Ruth gentleness and goodness, Moses meekness, and John the Baptist temperance. Executed by Hardman & Co. in the 1870s.