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Thursday, September 19 2019

Contributor: Alex Alajiki

“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” [AMP]

INTRODUCTION

We started our in-depth study of the fruit of the spirit last week. We discovered that the true evidence of our salvation is by the fruit we bear according to Matthew 7:16 (KJV) “You will know them by their fruits.”

We discovered that, according to our text, there is only one fruit of the Spirit but with multiple seeds or graces. The branch can not produce any fruit without been connected to the vine or root according to John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

Love, the fruit of the Spirit that we studied last week, is nonpartial and unconditional. It is Agape - the highest form of love. The origin is in God according to Rom.5:5; “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

First, love must be directed to God, to ourselves, then to our fellow man.

This week, we are looking at JOY, one of the seeds or graces of the fruit of the spirit.

We are living in a world that is under constant bombardment of negative news and evil round the clock. Majority of people are constantly looking for something to make them happy. Daily, many are in pursuit of happiness but not knowing that the joy of the Lord is what they need (Neh.8:10).

The world has a woeful shortage of joy and a surplus of fear, worry, discouragement and depression. Even all the advancement of man in “pursuit of happiness” and obsessive pleasure-seeking do not bring deep and lasting joy.

  • What is Joy?:

Merriam Webster dictionary defines joy as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.”

However, joy is more than that definition! Joy is spiritual. Its root is the Lord according John 15:11; “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

Rick Warren wrote; “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”

John Piper wrote; “Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.”

  • Difference between joy and happiness:

Happiness is an emotion. “Hap” means chance and is the root of several words; happen, happening, haphazard (dependent on mere chance), hapless, happenstance (a chance circumstance) and happy.

It is a glad feeling that depends on something good happening. God wants you to experience happy times (as long as God approves of what is happening). Ps.127:3-5 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. 5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”

God never intended for people to be in that emotional state all the time. There is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

Biblical Joy transcends circumstances according to Hab.3:17-18 “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Joy is a strong foundation that supports a variety of healthy emotions, including happiness. The long-range evidence of joy is general gratitude, contentment, optimism, a sense of freedom and other positive attitudes. It is rooted in the Lord not external happenings.

  • The Source and spring of joy; Ps.16:11

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

God is joyful far more than any human being ever was and ever can! It’s tragic that many people think of God as somber and stern rather than cheerful and smiling with a great sense of humor. He is enjoying His creation, and especially the delightful anticipation of many new “sons of God” (Luk.15:7).

True followers (imitators) of God will be joyful also. Psalms 68:3 says, “Let the righteous be glad; … let them rejoice exceedingly.” God desires that we serve Him “with joy and gladness of heart” (Deuteronomy 28:47).

The source of our joy is the Lord and our relationship with Him connect us to that unending flow of joy unspeakable, full of Glory (1Pet.1:8).

Joy is a major topic in the Bible. In the King James Version, “joy” appears 158 times and “rejoice” 198 times (not counting other variations such as joyful, joyfully, joyous, jubilant, happy and glad).

Joy is not optional. The Bible repeatedly commands us to rejoice! The most emphatic exhortation is in Phil. 4:4, where Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!”

  • Is it wrong to have sorrow? 2 Corin.7:10

“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

The Bible describes two kinds of sorrow.  “godly sorrow and then sorrow of the world. Godly sorrow can be the sorrow of repentance toward God or mourning over the suffering of others while having the joy of knowing that God will eventually solve all problems according to Matt.5:4: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

God grieves: Gen.6:6, The Holy Spirit grieves; Eph.4:30, Jesus grieved; Mark 3:5 and he wept like any human with emotion according to John 11:35. We are not disobeying scripture when we grieve, but it is wrong to remain in sorrow because it will open the door for our enemy; Prov.15:13 “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”

  • Sin is the enemy of Joy; Sin separates us from God, our source of joy. After committing adultery, David cried out in agony over his lost joy; Ps.51:11-12

“Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”

CONCLUSION

Joy is God’s nature and character! The evidence is everywhere in God’s creation; birds singing, animals leaping, flowers blooming, brooks babbling and the sun shining! Many people would be less depressed if they would spend more time outside. God “gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1Tim.6:17).

Since God is exceedingly joyful, His servants should also be joyful! Sadly, many who claim to be His disciples are austere, sour and dour. But take note of Luke’s description of true disciples: “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52).

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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