The Fruit Of The Spirit
By Sandy Simpson

Lesson 1 - Love
Lesson 2 - Joy
Lesson 3 - Peace
Lesson 4 - Patience
Lesson 5 - Kindness
Lesson 6 - Goodness
Lesson 7 - Faithfulness
Lesson 8 - Gentleness
Lesson 9 - Self-control


What is joy?  Is it laughter, happiness, joking, singing, fishing? It is all these but it is far more.  The branches of the tree are these things, but the root is joy in the Lord.  Having joy in the Lord doesn't mean we won't feel sad or angry at times.  There is a time and a place for everything, a time for joy and a time for sadness.  We must sympathize with the pain and suffering of others and share in their ups and downs.  But through it all we have an abiding deep sense of peace and hope that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.  This comes out of a worldview that knows that God is in control.  Non-believers don't have joy, they may have temporary happiness, but not deep inner joy.  Only the Holy Spirit can give us true and lasting joy.  It is, as C. S. Lewis wrote about in his book, our "hope of glory".  Joy does not come from things on the outside.  People try to get joy by drinking, partying, riches.  Some deceived Christians think they can get joy by someone laying hands on them and they get holy laughter.  Joy does not come from the outside, but from the inside out.  Joy is and attitude of live, a different worldview for those in Christ.  When we look at the world, at people, we can see them as God sees them and made them and we are thankful, full of praise.  So joy might be described as a thankful peaceful hope, to delight in the Lord.  We worship the Lord when we go through life and all its ups and downs without losing our joy in the Lord. 

Biblical Examples Of Joy

One of the examples in the Bible of the joy of the Lord is the life of David.  We often find David writing psalms of joy to the Lord.

Ps. 98  A psalm. Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn--shout for joy before the LORD, the King. Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy;  let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.

David found his joy in the Lord.  We can also see David being joyful on many occasions.  One in particular stands out.

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