Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Fruit of the Spirit Is JOY

Galatians 5:22-23

The Joy of the Lord 

~ Notes for Body, Soul & Spirit Life Group~
 ~ 2/14/12~
Jennie Heberg

Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (NKJV)

This the description of Joy from The American Heritage Dictionary: Joy


    1. Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.
    2. The expression or manifestation of such feeling.
  1. A source or an object of pleasure or satisfaction: their only child, their pride and joy.
This intrigued me when looking up the dictionary definition of Joy: Related Words: amusementbe in heavenbe pleasedbeambeatificationbeatitude,bewitchmentblessednessblissfulnesscapercaracolecarolcheercheerfulnesschirpchirrupclap handscloud ninecrowcrow over, dancedelectation,die with delightecstasyecstaticsenchantmentenjoymentexaltationexhilarationexuberanceexultfeel happyfriskfrivolityfrolicfungaietygambol,gleefulnessgloatgloat overglorygo into rapturesheavenhigh gleehigh spiritshilariousness, hilarityintoxicationjocularityjocundityjollinessjollity,jovialityjoyancejoyfulnessjoyousnessjubilatelaughlaughterlevityliltmerrinessmirthfulnessoverhappinessoverjoyfulnessparadisepurr,ravishmentrejoices,revelromp,seventh heavensingskipskip for joysmilesunshinetake great satisfaction, tread on air, triumph, unalloyed happiness,whistle      >                                                                                                             
The fruit of the Spirit of God is Joy in our lives as we walk in His joy, so before we talk about the Joy in our lives let’s look at the Joy of God for us.  Many people have no idea that God truly takes Joy in them.  That is the farthest thing from their ability to accept, that God would take any Joy in them.  Yes, He created man which includes both male and female.  We are the female species of man.  He created us!  He has a plan for each one of us.  See Jeremiah 29:11 from The Message  I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 

We know that God is Love, however let me also say that just as God is love, He is also each one of these ‘fruit’ of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23.  In saying that God is Joy, let’s apply this statement to our lives as His daughters.  God is Joy, and we can never know true Joy apart from Him.

One statement A.W. Tozer has been quoted as saying confirms God’s Joy for us.

·         “Sometimes when we get overwhelmed, we forget how BIG God is.” (Aw Tozer)
Often the overwhelming things in life cloud our vision of God’s ‘bigness’.  Yes, He is so much greater than any need, desire, goal, vision, or any other thing we want for our life.  Although He has called us to spread His Word throughout the earth He realizes fully that we will have challenges.  Therefore His joy will manifest in us all the more as we walk through these challenges holding tightly onto His hand.

Let’s take a look at the heart of Father God.

Matthew 7:7 "Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (HCSB)

·         Proverbs 23:25 HCSB
Let your father and mother have JOY, and let her who gave birth to you rejoice;

Let’s look at the heart of a couple of  Moms who want to Joy over their children in our presence and we’ll all, I’m very sure, Joy with them:  Now I’ve asked a few ladies to share a joy about her child or children and to limit it to one or two minutes. (LOL) 

Laura Quiros

Debbie Fleming

Christina Stiers
Thanks ladies. Comment….Thanks, how many of JOYed with them; could relate, etc.?

Now let’s look at how the Father God Joys over us.

·         Zephaniah 3:17 (HCSB)   17 The Lord your God is among you, a Warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring [you] quietness with His love. He will DELIGHT in you with shouts of JOY."

·         Over the past several weeks I’ve had this verse rolling around in my spirit.  The Lord MY God is with me, in me, and is the One, the Warrior, who saves me from all the works the enemy would like to use to destroy me.  He will rejoice over ME with gladness, and will fill ME with His peace and with His love.  He will delight in ME with shouts of joy.  This ‘delighting in me with shouts of joy’ makes me think of the way David danced as the ‘girls with tambourine’ in a twirling, leaping, full out dance of abandon.  I believe fully that the Joy Shouts that He delights over me, even surpass that visual we see in David.  2 Samuel 6: 14 David, ceremonially dressed in priest's linen, danced with great abandon before God. You Moms, who have daughters that twirl, skip and leap, and even squeal when excited. Magnify that times a thousand or more.  That is the Joy the Lord has in us.  Some of us have boys who do that, too.
Lindsey Campbell  shared this one day and I knew you needed to hear it tonight.>So many people focus on the fact that we must pursue God, which is true, but we often forget that God is also pursuing us. He wants us and needs us for His plans, too   
He has been chasing us and sends the Holy Spirit after us in such a way that nothing can stop His JOY and presence from overtaking us and seeing His arms wide open so that we can walk out of a lifestyle not pleasing to Him but can walk in His JOY and His DELIGHT and His Kingdom.                                                                                                    

·         Not one person is replaceable. He loves us all.

The first example of God’s Joy over His children comes when we begin reading the Bible.  In Gen. 1 and 2 we’ll see His Joy as He puts the glitter, bling, and signature on His phenomenal Arts & Crafts Project, mankind.  26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so. 31Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (NKJV)

Gen. 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.  > 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." 18 And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." > 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. 

< I believe this brought such joy to God that far surpasses anything we can think or imagine.  We’ll see, though, in the next chapter that some time passed and Adam & Eve were presented with a challenge.  The devil twisted the truth around and Eve became deceived into thinking what he was saying was right, with Adam there they took his bait, hook, line and sinker.  Gen. 3:8 says,  And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

<  Let’s look again at this:  Gen. 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day ,,,

It seems to me that ‘hearing the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day’ was a very common occurrence, just as He desires us to walk with Him daily.  However, I do believe that Adam & Eve saw Him in a greater level of glory than mankind has been able to since their sin until Jesus arrived.  Praise the Lord that Jesus came on the scene to restore that joy!  Now we can walk like Jesus did. 

Let’s look at Job:  We might not think of God’s Joy over Job in light of the rap the Book of Job has gotten over the years.  But let’s look at a few verses.

Job 1:1 HCSB
There was a man in the country of Uz named Job. He was a man of perfect integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil. 

Here we see an example of Job’s character and life statement.

·         Job 1:6 HCSB One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. 8  Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil." 

·         Job 1:22 HCSB
Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.

·         Job 2:1 HCSB One day the sons of God came again to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before the Lord.

·         Job 2:3 HCSB
Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil. He still retains his integrity, even though you incited Me against him, to destroy him without just cause."

The Warrior is a Child lyrics come to mind during this time in Job’s life.  I’ll just highlight a few lines of the song Twila Paris released in the early ‘80s, so yes, it’s before a lot of your time.  Let the words speak to you. 

1> Lately I've been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I'm amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don't see inside of me
I'm hiding all the tears

Chorus> They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child

2> Unafraid because His armor is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I'm amazing
Never face retreat
But they don't see the enemies
That lay me at His feet

They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor
the warrior is a child

They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and look up for a smile
'Cause deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
The Warrior is a Child

Job 42:10 HCSB  After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his prosperity and doubled his [previous] possessions.  42;12  So the Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the earlier…


Look at this statement by Job.

  Then restoration came to his life and was even more than his earlier days.  Look at this statement by Job just prior to his restoration.  Job 42:1 Then Job replied to the LORD: 2 "I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. 3You ask, 'Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?' It is I. And I was talking about things I did not understand, things far too wonderful for me. 4 "You said, 'Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.' 5 "I  had heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. 6 I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance." (NLT)

  However, he also confessed that he, ‘had heard about God before, but now’, after the sifting, the confrontation of the challenges, attacks thrown at him, the process of meekness, Job had an epiphany or revelation, ‘I have seen you with my own eyes’.  He and God had developed RELATIONSHIP with one another.  This is very important in the Christian Journey.  RELATIONSHIP! The Joy of the Lord had been revealed to Job through all the severe events in his life. Now, if in Job’s life God danced over him with Joy and demonstrated His unfathomable love, peace, strength, etc. etc. etc., how much more can we accept our Father God’s Joy over us?

We can be sure that there were times during Job’s life that he was disappointed with God especially as we read the book of Job and his commentary with his friends.  Although his friends told him not to question God, he was told by God that his friends did not speak correctly.  God answered all his questions and more when the right time came.

·         God JOYS over you so much that He is okay with you being disappointed with Him sometimes because He knows as time passes you will see just how much He JOYS over you and has a plan. All those things that do not make sense right now will make sense at the right time.  That time, although it may seem long, will, just as the Bible states in so many cases, come suddenly.  All of a sudden, there it will be! 
Now let’s look at Jesus!  Praise the Lord that Jesus came on the scene to restore that JOY!  Now we can walk like Jesus did.  We must realize the enemy, the devil, wants to stop us in our tracks just as he did Adam & Eve and tried to with Jesus.  Jesus has left us the Holy Spirit to lead us in all things.  This is what God, the Father, said about Jesus in the presence of those listening.
God’s Joy and Delight were of such fullness for Jesus to the point that in Matthew 3:17 we see,

And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!

In saying, I take Delight in Him, God is saying I JOY over Him… remember Zephaniah 3:17..
Peter later testifies of this very moment in time while preaching.  He was so overwhelmed with the presence of the Lord during the time of the Father God’s confirmation that yes, His Son was here, that no matter what else happened afterward, when the Lord sent the Holy Spirit and he was filled as with fire shut up in his bones, he lived the rest of his life doing all he could to bring as many as he could to a relationship with Jesus, God the Son, by following the leadership through the Holy Spirit. 

2 Peter 1:12-21

2 Therefore I will always remind you about these things, even though you know them and are established in the truth you have. 13 I consider it right, as long as I am in this tent, to wake you up with a reminder, 14 knowing that I will soon lay aside my tent, as our Lord Jesus Christ has also shown me. 15 And I will also make every effort that after my departure you may be able to recall these things at any time.

16 For we did not follow cleverly contrived myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; instead, we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (Now, here’s the account from Matthew) 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, a voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him! (Now, this is a 2nd account that Peter experienced with Jesus) 18 And we heard this voice when it came from heaven while we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 So we have the prophetic word strongly confirmed. You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 First of all, you should know this: no prophecy of Scripture comes from one's own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.

This statement was made by a pastor: The darker the background, the brighter the light!  Brilliance of light, the light of Jesus, shines out above the darkest times in a life lived for the Lord.   

I was reminded of it when reading the above passage: …You will do well to pay attention to it, as a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts…. 19b

We, as Christians, have need to be tamed, trained and tempered.  The pride, arrogance, the me, me, me, of our lives must become meek, it must become disciplined by God’s Word.  The only way to do that is through God’s JOY over us.  In the end, we will be much more visible as His own.  Relationship is developed during the meeking process and the Joy of the Lord is evident.

·         Reba Beebe shared on facebook one day:
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5 Meekness is not a sign of weakness-it is strength under control. If someone is talking about you- do not respond in anger- rise above and fly with the eagles- be calm, cool and steady.. Do not give them your power- keep your strength and your tongue under control.

I’ll close with this thought:  Let’s look at Psalm 37:4>

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. (NKJV)

Definition of Delight > Webster’s Dictionary

transitive verb

to give great JOY or pleasure to

intransitive verb

  1. to give great JOY or pleasure
  2. to be highly pleased; rejoice: usually with in or an infinitive

  1. great JOY or pleasure
  2. something giving great JOY or pleasure
  3. Old Poet. the power of pleasing

Taking this verse, Psalm 37:4, with Zephaniah 3:17, Delight and Joy walk hand in hand, therefore, I am sure that as we Delight ourselves, Joy ourselves, in the LORD, He will place His desires in our hearts, and in the end we will walk in the Joy of the Lord, the fruit of the Spirit of Joy will reside, make its home in and always live in our hearts no matter what challenges may come our way.  We will walk with His Joy over us at all times.

Let’s pray!


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