“But the fruit of the Spirit is … joy” (Gal 5:22).
Paul reminds the Galatian churches that joy is an essential part of the new life of Christ; it is neither generated by human effort, nor to be confused with an excited emotionalism. Rather, it is a growing work of the Holy Spirit’s constant presence in the lives of faithful believers. Earlier on in the letter, Paul asks of the Galatians—who he is writing to because they are adding unnecessary requirements to Christ in the life of discipleship—“What has happened to all your joy?” (Gal. 4:15). We pray that the Lord would form the fruit of joy in you by the work of His Spirit, and that it would be something that marks you out as belonging to Him.