“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, ...
those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
the fruit of the Spirit is . . . joy
JOY IN THE SPIRIT
It was C.S. Lewis that stated, “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” That is what we have been noticing so far this week in our devotions. That “the Joy of the Lord is our Strength” we said speaks to the reality that God wants his gift of Joy to be a foundation to our lives. On Tuesday we heard from Zephaniah 3:17 that God “rejoices over us with singing,” and that by experiencing and embracing his love for us we will be filled with an everlasting Joy. Then we noted that the “Fullness of joy,” or the joy that completely satisfies, is found in the presence of God. Yes, “joy is the serious business of heaven.”
In our living, “with thorns and thistles, tears and terrors,” any attainment of joy, true joy, is hard to come by, and if we do find joy, it is hard to sustain. This, I believe leads us to try to find Joy in cheap substitutes.
The Bible speaks of joy as a fruit of the Spirit, and we see how joy is treated in Jesus’ “vine and branches” teaching in John 15. (take a moment to read the first 17 verses) What John 15 teaches us that real joy results from knowing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Real joy has to do with selflessly loving the people around us. In short, real joy has to do with growing in obedience.
Rick Warren gives this definition of joy: “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.”
The two parts of his definition are “quiet confidence” and “determined choice.” We experience a sense of joy when we praise God, and when we understand that saying “God is in control” is a daily, moment by moment decision. When we rest in joy, we are truly able to acknowledge the one who is in control of it all.
As with all of the fruit of the Spirit, real joy can not be created through an act of our will. Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, who works in our hearts. We experience deep joy as the Holy Spirit makes the work and knowledge of Jesus become a greater reality in our hearts. And real joy prospers and grows as we grow in our faithfulness to Jesus.
The follower of Jesus is a joyful being! They are individuals who have come to know God and desire to know God more fully. In this world, this kind of joy is contagious. Christian joy stands out within a sorrowful, frustrated, empty and angry culture. It’s attractive because it’s hopeful, and it’s hopeful because the Christian joyfully knows, as John Gospel records “no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:22) I want that! I want the kind of joy that is rooted so deeply in my heart that nothing can cause it to waver. How about you?
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1. Meditate on the importance of relationship with the Holy Spirit in having joy. Allow God's word to stir up your desire for a deeper intimacy with God through the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17
“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal his nearness. Ask him to help you become more aware of his presence in your life.
3. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to a greater experience of joy. Ask him to bear the fruit of joy in your life throughout any and every circumstance. Spend some time allowing the Spirit to show you what might be in your way and also the measure of joy that is yours through his indwelling presence.
Here is a song you will recall us singing in worship at ACC.
Can't wait for Praise Team to lead us live again!!