Fruit of the Spirit
Joy & Peace
Mark 4:14-20 (NKJV) 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble. 18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."
John 15:8 (NKJV) “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
As we saw last week God is into the fruit bearing business and He desires to do a work within us that will produce good works on the outside of us.
Matthew 5:16 (NKJV) “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Last week we look at the word love and we saw that in the original Greek language there were four words for love.
Eros is a self-seeking love.
Stergo A love that is limited only to one's family.
Phileo is based on mutual satisfaction and can feel disappointed.
Agape is a love that loves so profoundly that it knows no limits or boundaries in how far, wide, high, and deep it will go to show that love to its recipient. If necessary, agape love will even sacrifice itself for the sake of that object or person it so deeply cherishes. Agape is the highest form of love—a self-sacrificial type of love that moves the lover to action. Agape is a love that has no strings attached. It isn't looking for what it can get, but for what it can give. This is the God Kind Of Love.
This week were going to look at Joy & Peace
Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
1 Thessalonians 1:6 (NKJV) And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,
In most of Paul's writings, he associates "joy" with times of affliction. The book of Philippines was written while Paul was in prison in Rome in A.D. 61-63, and it is consider a letter of joy.
The word "affliction" used in this verse is the Greek word thlipsis. This word is so strong that it leaves no room for misunderstanding regarding the intensity of the afflictions the Thessalonians faced.
The word thlipsis shows the idea of a heavy-pressure situation. One scholar says it was first used to describe the specific act of tying a victim with a rope, laying him on his back, and then placing a huge boulder on top of him until his body was crushed.
Paul uses this word to alert us to moments when he or others went through grueling, crushing situations that would have been unbearable, intolerable, and impossible to survive if it had not been for the help of the Holy Spirit.
One of the ways the Holy Spirit helps in these situations is to give us supernatural "joy." However, it's important to understand that this divine joy isn't on the same low level of mere happiness.
Happiness is based on circumstantial pleasure, merriment, exuberance, excitement, or something that causes one to feel hopeful or to be in high spirits. These fleeting emotions of happiness, although very pleasurable at the moment, usually go just as quickly as they came. All it takes is one piece of bad news, a sour look from a fellow employee, a harsh word from a spouse, a dent in our car, or a bill that is larger than what was anticipated—and that emotion of happiness can disappear right before a person's eyes!
But joy is unaffected by outward circumstances. In fact, it usually thrives best when times are tough! It is God's supernatural response to the devil's attacks!
The Greek word for "joy" is chara, it come from the word charis, which is the Greek word for grace. This is important, for it tells us that chara ("joy") is produced by the charis ("grace") of God. This means "joy" isn't a human-based happiness that comes and goes. Rather, true "joy" is divine in origin, a fruit of the Spirit that is manifested particularly in hard times. Someone may feel happiness, merriment, hilarity, exuberance, excitement, or "high spirits," but all of these are fleeting emotions. On the other hand, "joy" is a Spirit-given expression that flourishes best when times are strenuous, daunting, and tough!
In the example given in First Thessalonians 1:6, the Thessalonians were under great stress due to persecution; yet in the midst of it all, they continued to experience great joy. In fact, the Greek strongly implies that their supernatural joy was due to the Holy Spirit working inside them. Paul even called it the "joy of the Holy Ghost."
Christian author C. S. Lewis titled his autobiography Surprised by Joy. He believed that joy was a key part of the Christian life, one too often neglected.
Christianity has a reputation for being the "don't" religion -- a killjoy faith designed to keep people from enjoying their lives. Nothing could be more untrue. The Old and New Testaments promise us joy -- not a temporary, fleeting "high," but something that endures through both good and bad days.
Psalm 118:24 (NKJV) This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 30:5 (NLT) For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 30:11 (NLT) You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
Romans 14:17 (NKJV) for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV) Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our LORD. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
The word "peace" comes from the Greek word eirene, the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word shalom, which expresses the idea of wholeness, completeness, or tranquility in the soul that is unaffected by outward circumstances or pressures. The word eirene strongly suggests the rule of order in place of chaos. When a person is dominated by eirene ("peace"), he has a calm, inner stability that results in the ability to conduct himself peacefully, even in the midst of circumstances that would normally be very nerve-racking, traumatic, or upsetting.
The Hebrew counterpart, the word shalom, indicates that this dominating peace ultimately gives rise to prosperity in one's soul. Rather than allowing the difficulties and pressures of life to break him, a person who is possessed by eirene ("peace") is whole, complete, orderly, stable, and poised for blessing.
The Bible is filled with examples of this supernatural peace that the Holy Spirit produces. Let’s look at a few.
Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 54:13 (NKJV) All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children.
John 14:27 (NLT) “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
John 14:27 (AMP) Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
Acts 16:16-34 (NKJV) 16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation." 18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And he came out that very hour. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. 20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, "These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; 21 and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe." 22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here." 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.
Acts 12:1-11 (NKJV) 1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. 4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. 5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me." 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people."
Philippians 4:6-7 (AMP) 6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.