The overall theme of this series is about ‘how’ to have that Real, Relationship, right Now, with the Holy Spirit.
Last week we looked at the very first fruit of the Spirit – love. Love is the foundation upon all the other eight fruits are built upon:
Today, we are focusing on the fruit of joy.
In order to discover the true meaning of joy we must know something about the human personality. The bible reveals that we are made up of three distinct parts: spirit, soul, body: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify[g] you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 5:23, NKJV).
Paul describes our entire being in three distinct areas: spirit, soul, body.
Each of these areas has its own type of satisfaction. The type of satisfaction we look for in the body is – pleasure. The type of satisfaction we look for in the soul is – happiness. The type of satisfaction we look for in the spirit is – joy. So, pleasure is in the body, happiness is in the soul and joy is in the spirit. If you only focus on pleasure (body) and happiness (soul, you won’t know joy.
I want us to hear a man’s testimony on the liberating power of joy, God’s joy:
“Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And on the harp I will praise You,
O God, my God.” (Ps. 43:4, NKJV)
The background to the above Psalm says that David is oppressed, his enemies are after him, he is under pressure of circumstances, things are not going well and the future is very uncertain. What did David do?
David made a decision. “I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.” Wow!
I can imagine David saying, ‘What’s the way out of all these troubles? Where’s the answer?’ The he answered himself, ‘I know. I will go to the altar of my God, where I can praise and worship Him, then I’ll be renewed!’
But re-read the above Psalm again. Note how David describes God – God my exceeding joy! That tells us that David’s joy was not in any situation, circumstances or experience or achievement or blessing. No. David’s joy was in his God!
It is said that when the going gets tough, the tough goes shopping! Not David. But instead, David made a decision to run ‘To God my exceeding joy!’ Amazing!
Do you have that kind of relationship with God? So that in the middle of all trouble, pressure, attacks of the enemy, the way is still open for you to receive joy? That the channel between you and God is still clear? And even if you are not happy (soul), even if you are not experiencing pleasure, and everything around you is dark and insecure, you still have joy, joy in your spirit, because your spirit is in direct contact with God’s Spirit, the Source of your joy?
Joy is in the Holy Spirit. Do you know the Holy Spirit? Do you have the Holy Spirit? Are you sure? For it is impossible to have the Holy Spirit without joy, and impossible to have joy without the Holy Spirit!