Reflections of Grace 26: Walking in the Spirit – Joy

Reflections of Grace 26: Walking in the Spirit – Joy April 24, 2014

Galatians 5:22-23 says:   “But the fruit of the Holy Spirit the work which His presence within accomplishes is love, joy…” let’s stop there for a moment and talk about Joy:

  • Joy, what a source of attractiveness to a broken and needy world.  It makes sense that joy is the second characteristic of the fruit of the spirit. Love melts the heart of stone.  Joy touches the deepest part of that heart.  We need joy, and our world needs believers who evidence the fruit of joy.  Remember, joy is a fruit of Jesus spirit…we have more of Him .we will walk in more of his joy.
  • Joy results when we realize that our names are written in heaven.  Joy results when we discover the presence, power, and the purpose of God in every circumstance.  Joy results from experiencing complete restoration.
  • Once again we see that the fruit of the spirit originates in the heart and personality of God, I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11)  He is the possessor and giver of true joy.  Fleeting moments of happiness may be experienced through other channels, but inner joy flows only from Christ.
  • Even when we are in the midst of trials.  He teaches us how to tap into His reservoir of joy to our fill.  Remain in me!!!  The Greek word for remain is meno, which means to abide, dwell, live.  What does it mean to abide in Christ?
  • It takes determination!  As we remain in Christ, our attitudes and determinations must be steadfast.    It means we refuse to budge under pressure.  To never allow loss to cause us to leave him.
  • The key to remaining or abiding in Christ is in John 15: 3, 7, 10.  We are propelled to abide in Him.  When His words abide in us and we obey His commands with a tenacity we abide in Him.  We adhere to His presence.
  • Are some of us at risk of losing our joy?  How long do we have to know Jesus before we walk in this joy?
  • Few people ever experienced God in the same way Elijah did.  Yet we have seen him suddenly filled with fear and depression right after he performed great miracles.
  • All of us are at risk of losing our joy, and there are plenty of joy quenchers available to accommodate us. 1Kings:  19… right after Elijah performed mighty miracle before the prophets of Baal–he was threatened by the evil queen Jezabel.
  • Read 1 Kings 19:1-18
  • We can lose our joy when our output exceeds our intake, when our talk exceeds our walk.  When we are wonders junkies.  Elijah had experienced seeing God in the midst of magnificence.  He had seen God in such miraculous circumstances that he missed Him in the joy in the midst of the mundane and temptation of fear.   He looked for God in the wind, the earthquake and the fire, but he did not find him there..  I am convinced that the most intimate times we will ever spend with God will be in listening to His gentle whispers.
  • Please consider this point with me.  Rarely are you more at risk of losing your joy than when you have just experienced a spiritual high.  When God miraculously spares your life…when he supernaturally intervenes to meet your needs… when you just came from a mountain top experience or a retreat… anytime you have just been on Mt. Carmel standing firm against the enemy, you are sitting in a dangerous place, ripe for a fall.  Even Jesus baptism was followed by temptation.  Enjoy those marvelous times but never more than you enjoy His sweet whisper when you are all alone.
  • Elijah was also exhausted… ever been there?  But God tenderly cared for Elijah.  He created our bodies.  He knows we cannot function well when it is neglected.
  • Our joy is also tested when we feel alone.  Elijah felt like he was the only one standing up for God.  Beware of feelings that say you are all alone, and that no one cares.  Always a lie.  He says he will never leave us!!  When we view ourselves as the only spiritual persons we know we are setting ourselves up for a fall.
  • Jesus said to His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John:15:11). That sounds almost too good to be true! How can we experience this fullness of joy?
  • Wouldn’t you like to experience deep and enduring joy? Wouldn’t you like to be joy-full?  Please be assured— you can.
  • There is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is an emotion, and God never intended for people to be in that emotional state all the time. There is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes:3:4).
  • Biblical joy—the true joy—comes from filling the spiritual void with good relationships, primarily an intimate relationship with the One who is pure joy. Jesus put it this way:
  • “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit” (John:15:5). That fruit includes much joy!
  • The Bible speaks much more often of joy than of being happy. “Hap” means chance and is the root of several words— happen, happening, haphazard (dependent on mere chance), hapless, happenstance (a chance circumstance) and happy.  Happiness is a glad feeling that depends on something good happening. God wants you to experience happy times. But His greater desire is that you have unconditional joy. Jesus said His joy would “remain in you” and “your joy no one will take from you”
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