The Fruit of the Spirit (2) is Joy

In this letter…The Fruit of the Spirit is Joy…There is a war within us…the war between the flesh and the Spirit. This war begins when one is born again. Galatians 5 tells of this battle.

  • Galatians 5:16 – 17 (NLT) So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

Paul writes from experience of this conflict. Also in Romans the eighth chapter Paul writes about the victory he found in yielding to the Holy Spirit.

Our last letter was on Love…the first fruit of the Spirit. Love for God should become a natural thing in our lives. There will be evidences of the Spirit filled life which includes a love for God… a love for the Family of God, loving one another…and love for the (lost) the sinner…ministering to them… yes, love them as they are and allow the Saviors’ love to make them what they ought to be.

What about the Joy of the Holy Spirit?

  • David had lost this joy and longed to have it again in Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.”
  • There is joy in knowing sins are forgiven as stated in 1 John 1:7 “But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.”
  • John 1:12 (NLT) tells of the joy of being a child of God. “But to all who believed him & accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
  • There’s the joy of knowing heaven is ahead as stated in Phil. 1:21-23 (NLT) “For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better. Yet if I live, that means fruitful service for Christ. I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and sometimes I long to go and be with Christ.”
  • The joy of being at peace with God as Romans 5:1 states, “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.”
  • There is joy from a fruitful life…John 15:11 (NLT)“I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy.  Yes, your joy will overflow!” When you obey Christ and His teachings you will remain in His love and your life will be filled with joy.
  • There is a need to evaluate our spiritual condition often. Is the joy of the Lord our daily experience? If not, why not? Correct what needs to be corrected.

Are you abiding in Christ?

  • We must be abiding in Christ. Abide in Christ by fully surrendering to Him.
  • Abide in Christ by keeping a strong devotional life…(time of daily prayer alone with God and Bible reading-meditating on His Word)
  • Abide in Christ by feeding on God’s Word daily. Abide in Christ by confessing all known sin.

Remember…Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches…draw daily from His Word…bear fruit for Him…for Jesus said, He will cut off the branches which does not bear fruit. Strength to produce strong branches and perfect fruit comes from the Vine. Joy comes from bearing fruit! There is Joy from answered Prayer.

  • In John 16:24 (NLT) Jesus speaks of abundant joy from answered prayer. “You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” Yes, we are lead and directed by the Holy Spirit to pray. The Holy Spirit also bears witness when we pray.
  • Romans 8:14-16 (NLT) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family-calling him “Father, dear Father. For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.”
  • As Romans 8:26 states the Holy Spirit intercedes when we don’t know how to pray
  • Romans 8:26 (NLT) “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning’s that cannot be expressed in words.” 

Prayer must become an important part of the Christian life. Prayer and the Word are two of the most important weapons to be used against Satan today. As we shared earlier there is joy in leading others to Christ. Salvation brings joy to the angels and heaven.

  • Luke 15:7 (NLT) In the same way, heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

Leading others to the Father made the cross bearable for Jesus.

  • Hebrews 12:2 (NLT) “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven.” The joyful Spirit-filled life produces converts.

The world is looking for the genuine joy that only comes from being a Christian…that is the fruit of the Spirit showing forth in the Spirit-filled life of the believer. A life filled with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. Spirit-produced joy cannot be worked up…the fruit of the Spirit comes from within…for the Holy Spirit is within every child of God.

Sorrow will come when we grieve the Holy Spirit! (grieve – to cause to be sorrowful) Ephesians 4:30 (NLT) And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live.

Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Stop Quenching the Holy Spirit!

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:19 (NLT) Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. (stifle – to kill by preventing; to hold back; suppress)

Scriptures tells us how to have the Joy of the Lord. As we read theses scriptures allow the Holy Spirit to bring joy to your spirit. Give praise to the Lord! Honor the Lord with all we have; praise and worship your Heavenly Father will bring joy to your spirit.

  • Matthew 25:21 (NLT) “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
  • As stated earlier in John 15:11-12 (NLT) I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you.
  • Psalm 5:11-12 (NLT) But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Protect them, so all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O LORD, surrounding them with your shield of love.
  • Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT) Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”
  • 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
  • Romans 14:17-18 (NLT) For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God. And other people will approve of you, too.
  • Proverbs 17:22 (NLT) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
  • Luke 10:20-21 (NLT) But don’t rejoice just because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered as citizens of heaven.” Then Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.
  • Psalm 45:7-8 (NLT) You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else. Your robes are perfumed with myrrh, aloes, and cassia. In palaces decorated with ivory, you are entertained by the music of harps.
  • Proverbs 15:13 (NLT) A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:6 (NLT) So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.
  • Psalm 51:12-13 (NLT) Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to sinners, and they will return to you.
  • Psalm 149:5 (NLT) Let the faithful rejoice in this honor. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.
  • Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
  • Psalm 126:5-5 (NLT) Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
  • Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT) (b)…This is a sacred day before our LORD. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!”

Yes…the life of the Spirit-filled believer! The JOY of the Lord… is your strength! Experience the JOY of the Lord, TODAY!

Love in Christ Jesus,
Paul Lundmark

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