Summary: Joy is a great thing to have.
• SLIDE #1
• Have you ever been around a person who no matter what is going on around them, seem to be calm and peaceful?
• These people seem to have something that is special about them.
• As you look at them, you wish that you could deal with life’s problems with the same attitude.
• We run around in a panic or we get angry at every little thing that goes wrong, yet we see them not get upset about it.
• How many times have you been in the midst of a great day only to have one little thing happen that seems to steal the day from you, you go from having a wonderful day to having a terrible day in an instant.
• How would you like to be able to handle anything that comes at you without falling apart or getting upset? How would you like to have that special something that other people around you seem to have?
• As we started looking at Galatians 5:22-23, we started out with the fruit of love.
• The fruit comes as a result of the Spirit working in the life of an immersed believer.
• As we grow and mature in Christ, these gifts become more and more evident in our lives.
• Today we are going to look at the second fruit of the Spirit, joy!
• This is such a tasty fruit that once we taste it, we will never get enough of it.
Let us start off by looking at:
I. WHAT IS THE FRUIT OF JOY?
• Have you ever gone to the store with your shopping list and walked through the fruit section and saw some fruit of which you had no idea what it was? You had to read the sign to figure out what it was.
• When you think of the word “joy” what comes to mind? What is it, and what does it look like? Do you think of watching your children or grandchildren do something that makes you proud?
• When you think of joy, do you think of good things that happen in life?
• SLIDE #3
1. Joy defined
• Joy is the inward peace that is not affected by circumstances.
• When you posses the fruit of joy in your life, circumstances do not dictate whether you have it or not.
• Look at a couple of verses of scripture with me.
• SLIDE #4
• James 1:2 ( ESV ) 2Count it all joy, my brothers,£ when you meet trials of various kinds,
• James tells us we are to consider it all joy when we face various trials.
• Does this make sense to you? How can we possibly do this?
• Since joy is not dependent on circumstances, we can possess it in the midst of trials.
• Why can we possess joy in the midst of trials?
• SLIDE #5
• James 1:3-4 ( ESV ) 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
• We can have joy when we face difficulties because we know the difficulties will produce some good things in our lives. We know that God will work things out for us
• We trust Him!
• Let us look at another passage.
• SLIDE #6
• Hebrews 10:34 ( ESV ) 34For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
• The people were able to have joy because they knew something better was coming.
• Their lives were not centered on the here and now.
• Here is something for us to consider.
• SLIDE #7
2. Isn’t happiness what God wants for us?
• Do you notice something when you looked at Galatians 5:22-23, or did you see something missing?
• There is no mention of happiness.
• Many people think that God just wants them to be happy so they will avoid difficult situations or they will run from a problem in life because the problem does not make them happy.
• Happiness is a circumstance related emotion. When things are going well, we are happy.
• How many of us are happy when difficult times beset us? How many times are you happy when things are not pleasant?
• You generally cannot be happy unless the circumstances are right.
• When you root for a team, if you are a die-hard fan, you are not happy when your team loses. You are hurt and upset by the loss. You walk away from the game sad and upset and you go home and kick your dog because you are not happy.