The Greek word for joy is chara, derived from the word charis, which is the Greek word for grace. This is important to note, for it tell us that chara (joy) is produced by the charis (grace) of God. This means joy isn't a human-based happiness that comes and goes. Rather, true joy is divine in origin, a Fruit of the Spirit that is manifested particularly in hard times. Joy is a Spirit-given expression that flourishes best when times are strenuous, daunting and tough! Joy is unaffected by outward circumstance. In fact, it usually thrives best when times are tough. It is God's supernatural response to the devil's attacks!
The word peace comes from the Greek word eirene, the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word shalom, which expresses the idea of wholeness, completeness, or tranquility in the soul that is unaffected by outward circumstance or pressures. The word eirene strongly suggests the rule of order in place of chaos. What person is dominated by eirene, he has a calm, inner stability that results in the ability to conduct himself peacefully, even in the midst of circumstances that would normally be very nerve-racking, traumatic, or upsetting.
The Hebrew counterpart, the word shalom, indicates that this dominating peace ultimately gives rise to prosperity in one's soul. Rather than allowing the difficulties and pressures of life to break him, a person who is possessed by eirene is whole, complete, orderly, stable, and poised for blessing.
So don't think that you have to give way to upsetting emotions in difficult or challenging moments. If you allow the Holy Spirit to work in you, He will release a supernatural joy and dominating peace from way down deep inside you. There Fruit of the Spirit have the power to keep you joyful, calm, stable, and peaceful, even though you are facing circumstances that would normally push you over the edge!
Stay tuned for more description of the fruit of the Spirit this week, Greek week, here on Ironstrikes.
This post was adapted from the writings of Rick Renner as found in his book: Sparkling Gems from the Greek