Summary: Joy is the second manifestation list in the Fruit of the Spirit. It is the direct result of experiencing the presence and love of God in one’s life. Joy is an attitude you can choose.
The Fruit of the Spirit - Joy
Scripture: Galations 5:22
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
The last few weeks we have seen in the scriptures that it is God’s plan and purpose for our lives to:
o Live in Freedom in Christ.
o A freedom to do what we ought not what we want
o A freedom that is based upon walking in the spirit and not according to the flesh
o That our lives manifest the Fruit of the Spirit and much of it to bring glory to the Father.
o That fruit is manifested as we yield, and surrender our will to the will of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us
o The Fruit of the Spirit is one fruit, but is seen in the nature of Christ manifested in the transformed character of the believer
Last week we looked at one of the manifestations of the Fruit of the Spirit – Love
o We saw that Love (Agape) is the true manifestation of God for God is Love
o That it is truly the more excellent way as Paul described it in 1Cor 13
o That the nature or character of love seems to parallel much of the other manifestations of the “fruit of the Spirit”
o And that this Agape Love – is the bonafide proof (not our works) that we are truly desciples of Christ
Today we want to consider another manifestation of the Fruit of the Spirit that should shine through us if God is dwelling in us – Joy!
I love the story of the grumbling motorist. "What am I supposed to do with this?" grumbled the motorist, as the police clerk handed him a receipt for his traffic ticket. "Keep it," the clerk said, "When you get four of them, you get a bicycle."
What is Joy?
In the bible it means:
Grk - chairo khah’-ee-ro
1) to rejoice, be glad
2) to rejoice exceedingly
Here is one persons description of Joy… ““Joy is like the hidden note in the glass. Joy is tuning in to what God is doing around you, seeing the world through his eyes, picking up on his delight in us as his children. Anyone can find happiness for a while… Happiness depends on what is happening to you. Joy is different; joy goes deeper. Joy is when your whole being sings because you have caught a glimpse of God at work. Joy can creep up on you and surprise you in unexpected places.”
Jim Kane(Illustrations on (http://www.SermonCentral.com)
Robert Louis Stevenson noted years ago, “To miss the joy is to miss everything.”
The Bible nowhere speaks about a “happy” Christian; it talks plentifully of joy. Happiness depends on things that happen, and may sometimes be an insult; joyfulness is never touched by external conditions, and a joyful heart is never an insult” (Oswald Chambers)
Joy produces a manifest “Happiness” but it is much more than happiness. Joy is an attitude developed by an awareness of the indwelling presence of God in us.
Remember the quote a few weeks ago from Max Lucado’s book entitled, “Grace For The Moment.”
I CHOOSE JOY. . . I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical . . . the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
Max was saying I choose to be aware of God in my life. I choose to allow that to impact every area of my life. I choose to have an attitude of Joy.
I. How Is This Joy Obtained
I. Joy Is the Natural Sequel to Experiencing the Love of God
o Have you ever witnessed two people who are truly in love
o They are not just happy, they are filled with JOY!
o It seems as though no matter what happens they they are aglow. There is something deeper about joy, that even though it manifests it’s self as a strong presence of happiness, it is more. Joy is an inner strength born out of love.
To come to know God, is to come to know He who is Love
Joy is experienced because of the Presence of God –
o 11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
II. How Is Joy Maintained
1. Give it away
a. Dr. Billy Graham was once approached asked by a lady who had given her heart to the Lord during one of his evangelistic campaigns. She had given her heart to the Lord early in the week and had attended the meetings every evening that week. As she spoke with Dr. Graham she described the overwhelming sense of Joy that she had been experiencing ever since she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord and she asked, “Dr. Graham, what must I do to keep this joy?” To which he replied, “ You must give it away!” One of the key elements of keeping the Joy of the Lord is to share it constantly with others.