Joy, A Segment of the Fruit of The Spirit, by Sister Patricia OBAWOLE
The word ‘joy’ is defined as, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires or, a state of happiness”. However, as we are not children of the world, a more apt definition can be found in the Bible. Today we will look at the biblical understanding of ‘joy’.
Worldly Joy is Temporary
The joy that the world offers is a pale imitation of the true Joy only God can give us. The joy that unsaved people experience is a temporary joy (Happiness actually). It comes and goes depending on the situation that person is in at the time. If things are going well, there is an excitement and they call Joy. When things are difficult, there is automatically nothing to rejoice for. In the book of Job, one of Job’s friends utters some insightful words: “the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment?” (Job 20:5). There can be no true joy outside God.
Joy Is a Gift from God
The Joy we are considering today is a segment of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, who resides in the heart of the believer, Galatians 5:22-23 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Since God is the author of all these good things, when one becomes a Christian, and is united to God through faith in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit imparts these qualities to the believer. Joy is also an integral part of the Kingdom of God and will exist wherever believers are present, “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). Every believer has Joy.
Circumstances Should Not Take Away Our Joy
In the book of 2Corinthians 6:10, Paul says that Christians can even be “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing”. This means that even when we are in the midst of a situation that “legitimately” brings us sorrow, our inner joy is never taken away. The very core of our being can still rejoice in the fact that we are forgiven children of God who enjoy an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe. Our joy is strengthened when we remember that, no matter what the circumstances, God is with us and He is above all.
*We see this in the writings of several New Testament authors:
James 1:2-3 says “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness”.
Philippians 2:17-18 says “Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise, you also should be glad and rejoice with me”
The apostle Peter encourages us with, “…rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” I Peter 4:13.
As I round up, one of the things that can steal our Joy is Sin. Godly joy is a wonderful thing; it is a supernatural gift from God to every believer. However, one warning must be issued. Sin can steal our joy. It is difficult to experience the joy of our relationship with God when we have done something that damages that relationship. Joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit; when we grieve the Holy Spirit by our sin, we interfere with the flow of joy (among other things) from God. If we find that we are experiencing joy less and less, we may need to re-evaluate our relationship and our knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Finally, Christians Should ‘Rejoice Always’
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘rejoice’ in this way, ‘to feel joy or great delight’. There are several passages in the New Testament where Paul instructs us to ‘rejoice’. These passages carry a sense of urgency or command as if Paul were saying that a Christian is to be full of joy and he is urging believers to make sure that their relationships with God and others are relationships that produce joy (Philippians 3:1 and Philippians 4:4).
Most people know the shortest verse in the Bible (John 11:35 “Jesus wept”). However, the second shortest is just as important. This can be found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 and it tell us to “Rejoice always.” Followed by “pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. This joy, prayer, and thanksgiving should characterize the life of a Christian. It is God’s will for the believer. This is how God wants us to live. “Rejoicing always” does not mean that we are to paste a fake smile on our faces no matter what is going on in our lives or the lives of those we love. It means that we are to remain steadfast in our knowledge that God is our strength and comfort, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves.
May we all experience supernatural Joy in Jesus name.
Thank you for listening.
The sermon, Joy, A Segment of the Fruit of The Spirit, by Sister Patricia OBAWOLE, was delivered on 19th November 2017 at the Special New Workers/Talents Audition Service.