Fruit of the Spirit - Joy 3/25/20

The second fruit of the Spirit listed In Galatians 5:22-23 is joy. It is always good to be reminded that joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is an emotion, and we all know that emotions can depart as quickly as they can arrive. Joy is a gift that dwells inside us. It is a quality of our life that stays with us through everything we encounter in life, good and bad.

All of this fruit of the Spirit, these spiritual gifts, come to us from our relationship with God. As we spend time with God, the Holy Spirit causes this fruit to grow. We finally recognize that it is when we seek God and dwell in His presence that these gifts are received. The psalmist says “In Thy presence is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11) All that we desire, all that we need we find in Christ. It is through Christ as our Mediator that we have access to the very throne of the Father.

Jesus said that the words He has spoken are spoken so that His joy would remain in us and that our joy would be full. (John 15:11) His words not only bring us joy, but they bring us His joy, the joy of Christ shared with us. That, in turn, makes our joy full and complete.

When David repented of his sin with Bathsheba, he poured out his heart in Psalm 51. As he sought to have his relationship with God restored, he pleaded, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.” Our salvation which was purchased by Christ is a source of unbounded joy. To be cleansed of our sin and adopted into the family of God is certainly that “joy unspeakable and full of glory” which Peter describes (I Peter 1:8).

This is only touching the surface of the joy we have in Christ, of the joy that fills our hearts and spirits. This joy never fades. We have joy in our salvation, in our assurance that we will spend eternity in the presence of God. We have joy in the words of Christ, in the Scripture which is the lamp unto our feet and the light unto our path. And, we have joy as we live in the presence of God. This joy is not dependent on our circumstances, it is dependent only on the faithfulness of God. Amen.

Pastor Mike

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