Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the spirit is…joy
What’s the first thing that the nonbeliever can see about a professed believer? It could be argued that one’s emotional state is the first impression that an observer can pick up. If we, as Christ followers, have no joy we don’t send a very appealing message to those watching. If we are to convince the unsaved that we have something that they should want, we should act like it.
This is not to say that we should, at all times, have an ear-to-ear grin on our faces. Times will come in our lives that are nothing to smile about. But if we have the joy of Christ inside us, the way we handle the bad times will be different than the way someone who doesn’t have Christ would handle them. We can show that we have an overall joy in our lives even as we go through down times in our lives. It’s in these times that we will be watched the most.
It can be quite easy to put on a happy face and act like life is perfect even though we know it isn’t, but real joy isn’t about putting on a facade to fool everyone. The Lord’s instructions are not to fool anyone. It is about living out the joy that is within us. Look to Christ as an example.
A few scriptures that offer some help in this area are Matthew 6:27, John 15:11, John 10:10, Romans 8:35, 2 Corinthians 4:9, Psalm 5:11, Psalm 28:7. There are many more that would also offer guidance.