The Fruit Of The Spirit Is Joy

Posted by on Jan 21, 2007

First Baptist Church of Ranson, WV

January 21, 2007

Sunday Morning

“The Fruit Of The Spirit Is Joy”

Scripture Text: Galatians 5:22

Introduction:

 

A.   If you were here last Sunday morning, you remember that I began my message with a rather personal question.

1. I asked you, “How spiritual a person are you?”

2. This morning, I would like to follow up that question with yet another question, and that is, “Do you have the joy of the Lord in your life?”

3. Now I didn’t ask you, “Are you happy?”

4. And I didn’t ask you, “Are you smiling?”

5. And I didn’t ask you, “Are you enjoying life?”

6. But I asked you, “Do you have the joy of the Lord in your life?”

7. Someone asks, “Aren’t we talking about the same thing? Isn’t happiness the same thing as joy?”

8. Not necessarily, as we are going to see later on in this message, but again, the question, “Do you have the joy of the Lord in your life?”

 

B.   The reason I ask this question is because the second “fruit” (evidence) of the working of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life is “joy.”

1. Notice again our text, Paul said, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy.” (Gal. 5:22)

2. This morning, I want us to answer three questions.

3. First of all,…

 

I.       What Is Joy?

 

A.   The word translated “joy” here is from the Greek word “chara,” which literally means “a calm delight.”

1. It can also mean “cheerfulness” or “gladness.”

2. Now before I go any further, I want to make something very clear.

3. The “joy” that Paul refers to here is not the same as the “happiness” that the unsaved world experiences.

4. (Illus.- Someone asked me once, “Can an unsaved person experience happiness?” The answer is yes, the unsaved can experience happiness of a sort, but it is clearly not the same as the joy of the Lord that believers in Christ experience.)

 

B.   There are at least three differences between the “world’s happiness” and the “joy of the Lord.”

1. First of all, the world’s happiness is very shallow.

2. It doesn’t go very deep, but rather is all on the surface.

3. You’ll see the unsaved smile, you’ll hear them laugh, you’ll sense that they are experiencing some sort of happiness, however, it is not the same.

4. It is very shallow.

5. The “joy of the Lord,” on the other hand, is very deep.

6. It’s not confined to the surface, but rather finds its roots deep within our hearts.

7. (Illus.- Sometimes our children will sing the song, “I have the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart, [where?] down in my heart, [where?] down in my heart. I have the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart, [where?] down in my heart to stay.” Where is the joy of the Lord? It is down in our hearts!)

8. And so, the “world’s happiness” is very shallow.

 

C.   Another difference between the “world’s happiness” and the “joy of the Lord” is that the “world’s happiness” is based entirely on outward circumstances.

1. Have you ever looked up the word “happy” in the dictionary?

2. If you have, you know that is comes from an the old English word “hap,” which means “chance or fortune.”

3. In fact, the first definition for the word “happy” in the Mirriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary is as follows: “favored by luck or fortune : fortunate.”

4. That pretty much describes the “world’s happiness.”

5. It is based purely on luck or chance.

6. If a person is lucky enough to have…

-a good job,

-good health,

-good relationships,

-lots of money in the bank, etc.,

then that person is happy.

7. However, you let that person…

-lose their job,

-become seriously ill,

-have a relationship go sour,

-experience financial difficulty, etc.,

then that person’s happiness sprouts wings and flies right out the window.

8. Why? Because it is based entirely on outward circumstances.

9. As long as a person’s outward circumstances are conducive to happiness, then he will be happy, but when his outward circumstances are not conducive to happiness, then he is miserable.

10.   The “joy of the Lord,” on the other hand, is not based on outward circumstances, but rather is based on inward realities.

11.   In other words, the basis for a believer’s joy is found deep within him!

12.   Do you realize what this means?

13.   It means that no matter what our outward circumstances might be, we can still have the “joy of the Lord!”

 

D.   This brings us to the third big difference between the “world’s happiness” and the “joy of the Lord,” and that is the “world’s happiness” is only temporary.

1. Because it is based on outward circumstances, it comes and it goes as one’s outward circumstances change.

2. The world is…

-happy one day, and sad the next,

-smiling one day, and frowning the next,

-enjoying life one day, and hating life the next!

3. The “joy of the Lord,” on the other hand, is eternal.

4. Because it is based on inward realities that never change or fluctuate, it stays with us all the time (never leaves us).

5. Now this does not mean that believers in Christ never experience sadness or sorrow.

6. Let us not forget Solomon’s words found in Ecc. 3:4, where he said that there is “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

7. Even Christians experience sadness and sorrow.

8. However, having said that, even in the midst of terrible sadness and sorrow, true believers possess an inward abiding joy that gives them the strength to go on.

9. This is something that the unsaved world knows absolutely nothing about!

 

E.   What is “joy”?

1. Joy is “chara.”

2. It is “a calm delight.”

3. It is “a calm delight” that…

-finds it roots deep within our hearts,

-is based on inward realities, not outward circumstances,

-stays with us, even in the midst of sadness and sorrow.

 

II.      What Is The Basis Of Joy?

 

A.   I said earlier that true joy is based on constant inward realities, not on temporary outward circumstances, but what are these inward realities?

B.   First of all, there is the reality of salvation.

1. Let me tell you something, there is joy in salvation.

2. There is joy in knowing that…

-you are saved,

-your sins are forgiven,

-you possess the gift of eternal life,

-you have a home in heaven waiting for you!

3. (Illus.- Even though it was almost 38 years ago now, I still remember how happy I was right after I got saved. I still remember the joy that I felt. It was truly beyond description. It was truly “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Of course, I’m still rejoicing in my salvation, and will continue to do for eternity!)

4. When you stop and think about it, true joy begins with salvation, doesn’t it?

5. Do you remember the parables in Luke 15?

6. There are three of them, the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin, and the parable of the lost son.

7. In each case, when that which was lost was found, there was great joy.

8. The shepherd rejoiced when he found the lost sheep.

9. The housewife rejoiced when she found the lost coin.

10.   The father rejoiced when his lost son came home.

11.   And so, one of the inward realities upon which our joy is based is the reality of our salvation.

12.   The prophet Isaiah put it like this in Isa. 12:3, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

 

C.   By the way, it is possible to lose the joy of our salvation.

1. Now I didn’t say that we can lose our salvation, but we can lose the joy of our salvation.

2. Do you remember what happened to King David when he sinned with Bathsheba?

3. One of the things that happened was that he lost the joy of his salvation.

4. How do I know that?

 

5. I know that because of the prayer that he prayed in Psa. 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;”

6. When a believer sins the way that David did, he loses the joy of his salvation, and the only way to get it back is to claim the promise of 1 John 1:9, which says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 

D.   Another inward reality upon which our joy is based is the reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

1. Turn with me to 1 Thes. 1:5-6, “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake….And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:”

2. Paul put it like this Rom. 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

3. The fact is, the Holy Spirit is the source of our joy!

4. By the way, this is the reason that the “joy of the Lord” is eternal, because the Holy Spirit has promised to never leave us nor forsake us!!(Heb. 13:5)

5. And so, the second inward reality upon which our joy is based is the reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

E.   A third inward reality upon which our joy is based is the reality of our faith.

1. Listen to Peter’s words recorded in 1 Pet. 1:7-8, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:…Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”

 

2. Though everything in our lives goes bad, though all of our outward circumstances turn sour, though our very worst fears become a reality, our faith…

-in God,

-in God’s Word,

-in God’s promises,

sustains us and enables us to “rejoice with joy unspeak-able and full of glory.”

3. And so, our joy is based on the reality of our faith.

 

F.    All of these things form the basis for our joy.

1. Our salvation.

2. The indwelling Holy Spirit.

3. Our faith in the God who loves us and saved us!

4. Because of these things, we can have joy in our hearts when everyone else around us is miserable.

 

G.   One final question…

 

III.    To What Extent Will We Experience Joy In Our Lives?

 

A.   As I said last week, I’ll say it again, it all depends.

1. “Depends on what?” someone asks.

2. It all depends on to what extent we are able to walk “in the Spirit.”

3. It all depends on to what extent we are able to yield our lives to the Holy Spirit Who lives within us.

4. It all depends on to what extent we are able to…

-follow His guidance,

-submit our lives to His leading,

-allow ourselves to be under His influence and control.

5. The more we are able to walk “in the Spirit,” the more fruit (evidence) there will be of the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives, and the more joy we will experience.

6. It’s as simple as that!

 

B.   Do you realize what this means?

1. It means that you can measure your spirituality by the amount of joy that you are experiencing in your life at this moment.

2. The sad truth is, many believers are don’t have much joy, and the reason they don’t have much joy is because rather than walking “in the Spirit,” they are fulfilling the “lust of the flesh.”

3. Fulfilling the “lust of the flesh” may bring momentary pleasure or happiness, remember, it’s not the same thing as the “joy of the Lord.”

4. (Illus.- Last Sunday evening Bro. Cera told the story about the little girl who gave up her fake pearls, only to be rewarded with the real thing. Many believers are settling for fake (the world’s) happiness, when they could have the real thing (joy of the Lord).

Conclusion:

 

A.   How about you, friend?

1. Do you have the joy of the Lord in your life?

2. If so, how much do you have?

3. Want more joy?

4. Then turn your life over to God, yield your life to the Holy Spirit of God, let Him control your life.

5. You’ll be amazed at the joy you will experience by doing so, not fake joy, but the real thing.

 

B.   Perhaps you have no real joy whatsoever.

1. Your problem is you are not saved.

2. You do not have the source of joy, the Holy Spirit, living within you.

3. You can do something about that this morning.

4. How about it???