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Fruits Of The Holy Spirit – Joy – Pursuing Intimacy With God

Kevin Bart

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Fruits of The Holy Spirit – Joy

In this series of Bible studies we will look into each of the spiritual fruits given to believers and followers of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. The first of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is love. Followed by joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. In this study we will look into the 2nd of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, joy.

These fruits of the Holy Spirit are continually on display in the life of a believer that is fully submitted and committed to Jesus. This type of believer is filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit. You can be a believer that is controlled by the flesh. Or a believer that is controlled by the Holy Spirit.  

“…but be filled (completely controlled) with the Spirit.”  – Ephesians 5:18

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”  – Galatians 5:22-23

Fruits Of The Holy Spirit

2nd Of The Fruits Of The Holy Spirit – Joy

What is joy ? The joy that is described in God’s Word the Bible. And how can one be filled with God’s joy ?

The original Greek word for joy in the New Testament is χαρά. This is the joy that only God can give through the Holy Spirit. The definition of χαρά joy – exceeding or abundant joy ; delight; great joy 

The joy that God gives as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is a supernatural joy. It is not the same as what we call happiness. Happiness is typically temporary and based on feelings and emotions, and circumstances. When a person’s circumstances and life is going well, he or she feels happy. 

The joy God gives is not dependent on circumstances, or emotions and feelings. You can experience the supernatural joy that God gives even during difficulties and trials.

King David Experienced God’s Supernatural Joy

King David was described in Acts 13 as a “man after God’s own heart”. Because he was fully committed to seeking and following God. He was obviously not a perfect man. But when he sinned against God he sincerely confessed and repented. And returned to close fellowship with God. 

David recognized that God is The Source of salvation, and of many other spiritual blessings and riches. And he recognized that having a fully committed relationship and fellowship with God is the key to enjoying God and His salvation and blessings in your life.

Lord, in Your strength the king will be glad, and in Your salvation how greatly he will rejoice ! – Psalm 21:1

David was constantly seeking God and spending time in His presence. In the presence of God, and from having a close and committed relationship and fellowship with God, David experience the supernatural joy only God can give. 

“In your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore“  – Psalm 16:11

“For You make him most blessed forever; You make him joyful with the joy of Your presence”.  – Psalm 21:6

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”  – Psalm 27:4

The interesting thing about many of the Psalms that David wrote, including the ones above, is that they were written in times of trouble and danger in David’s life. Despite the many difficulties and trials that David went through, he enjoyed God’s presence and gift of joy.

Fruits Of The Holy Spirit – Joy In The Middle Of Trials & Difficulties

God’s supernatural joy is available to anyone who has repented from their sins and placed their hope and faith in Jesus Christ. It is a joy that is available at all times, if you are fully surrendered and committed to your relationship and fellowship with God. 

God’s joy is abundantly flowing through fully committed and faithful disciples & followers of Jesus. Especially during difficult times in their lives. Although it seems difficult or even impossible for you to have joy in the middle of difficulties and suffering, rest assured that God’s joy is available to you. Perhaps He is allowing the difficulties in your life to draw you into a deeper and more committed fellowship with Him. 

The trials and difficulties and suffering that God allows in your life are never without a greater purpose. God uses difficulties and suffering in your life to bring us closer to Him. Or to mold and shape you to be all that He wants you to be.

Joy In The Midst Of Trials And Suffering

James writes that we should be joyful in various trials, knowing that they produce the results that God intends. God’s ultimate purpose is for you to be like Jesus, complete in every way. To God you are a priceless work of art, and He is constantly trying to mold and shape you to be complete. In other words, God wants you to be abundantly full and overflowing with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Full and overflowing with His love, joy, peace, patience…

“Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  – James 1:2-4

God’s Purpose & Goals For You In Trials And Suffering

Paul writes about difficulties and suffering in Romans 8. One of the great truths he writes about is how God uses these difficult times in your life.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined (planned from the beginning) to become conformed to the image of His Son…”  – Romans 8:28-29

When you read the entire chapter of Romans 8, you will see when Paul writes “God causes ALL things to work together for good”, the “all things” are difficulties and suffering. God uses difficulties and suffering to bring about His goals in you. His ultimate goal for you is to be like Jesus. Holy and righteous. And with Jesus’ godly character. And with Jesus’ love and faithfulness for God, and His commitment to fully obey and follow God.  Fully surrendered and full to overflowing with Jesus’ love, joy, peace…

Jesus Experienced Great Joy By Obeying God And Suffering For Us

Jesus is always our best example to follow. Jesus left His place of glory in heaven and came to earth. Eventually He suffered a great deal and died a horrible death on the cross to save us from our sins. He was driven by His love and devotion to God the Father, and by His love for us.

” looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  – Hebrews 12:2

Hebrews 12:2 states something very interesting. It says that Jesus endured these terrible things “for the joy set before him”. Jesus experienced great joy, despite these terrible things he endured. It was the supernatural joy of God that can only come when you are fully surrendered and fully committed to your relationship and fellowship with God. And fully committed to follow and obey Him at all costs.

Fruits Of The Holy Spirit

The Early Church In Acts Experienced God’s Joy Despite Many Difficulties

Life for Christians in the early church in Acts was difficult. It was a very dangerous time to be a Christian. The same people and religious leaders that crucified Jesus were still alive and in power. It was shortly after Jesus died on the cross and returned to His place of glory in heaven.

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers. Then fear came over everyone, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles.”  – Acts 2:42-43

The believers in the church in Acts were not devoted or fully committed to doing religious things or to being devout religious people. The word used for “devoted themselves” means they were completely committed to Jesus. And they faithfully obeyed all that He commanded them to do. Including to tell many others about Him and salvation. Many were killed because they faithfully obeyed, including all of the apostles except John.

Because of their complete devotion and commitment to Jesus, they experienced God’s presence and His great acts in their daily lives. And despite their many difficulties, suffering, and dangers, they experienced God great joy. Acts 2:46 shows that they constantly had God’s incredible joy in their hearts.

“Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as anyone had a need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. 46 They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God and having favor with all the people.”  – Acts 2:42-47a

Experience God’s Joy By Actively Participating In God’s Kingdom Mission

There is another reason that Jesus experienced the joy He did in Hebrews 12:2

” looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  – Hebrews 12:2

And there is another reason that the early church in Acts experienced God’s joy in their hearts and lives.

“They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. 47b And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

All the believers in this church experienced God’s great joy. Notice in Acts 2:47b it says “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. This could not have happened if the people in the church did not do something first. They had to faithfully obey Jesus’ command in Matthew 4:19: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 

In their daily lives these believers faithfully went out and share the Good News of Jesus with others. They actively went out to share the Gospel with as many other people as possible. Because of their faithfulness and devotion to Jesus, and their love for others (godly “agape” love), they risked their lives to tell others about Jesus and salvation. And some dies because of it.

This unselfish and self sacrificing love for others, and total devotion to God produced great joy in Jesus, and in the hearts of the people in the early church in Acts. Because they were actively involved in God’s kingdom mission of reaching lost people and making disciples, they experienced God’s great joy. Despite the difficulties, suffering, and dangers.

Nest week we will study the next of the fruits of the Holy Spirit – Peace.

May God be able to fill you with His supernatural joy and the other fruits of the Holy Spirit.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  – Romans 15:13

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This article was originally published by Kevin Bart at Pursuing Intimacy With God.

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