WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST SOURCE OF JOY?

What is our greatest source of joy? Paul pointed to the Holy Spirit:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23

Sadly, many church people believe they are saved but have never been born again of the Holy Spirit. Unless a person has truly repented of their sin and rebellion against God and understood and accepted what Jesus Christ has achieved for them by dying on The Cross and then given testimony of dying to self by being baptised then they have not received the Holy Spirit to enable them to live the Christian life.

Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the third person of the Trinity to be our Counsellor, Comforter, and Healer. He provides the gifts of the Holy Spirit for ministry. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for you to use how you want. They have specific purposes for God’s Kingdom. They are intended to glorify God by revealing more of who He is and displaying His sovereignty and power over all things.

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another, the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another, various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Back to JOY: commenting on chara, the Greek Word usually rendered “joy” in this passage, the United Bible Societies’ translation handbook advises, “In some languages, joy is essentially equivalent to ‘causes people to be very happy.’ In order to indicate that this joy is not merely some passing experience, one may say ‘to be truly happy within their hearts.’ In some languages, joy is expressed idiomatically as ‘to be warm within one’s heart,’ or ‘to dance within one’s heart.’”

The beauty of God’s creation is a major source of joy

If it seems that the translators are taking liberties by saying “happy” instead of “joyful,” note that the other eight adjectives perfectly correspond to the nouns used in the English Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible. Chara is the only Greek word in this passage rendered differently by the CEV translators. Their goal was faithfulness to the original language. “Joy” is a good translation of chara, but so too is its synonym “happiness.”

Some suggest that the order of the ninefold fruit of the Spirit is significant and that love is named first because “the greatest . . . is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). If this is true, then joy’s position as the second listed might imply it’s the second greatest.

Why does Paul emphasize joy and the other eight components of the Spirit’s fruit in the context of his attack on legalism in Galatians? Reading between the lines, we might surmise that joy was too rare among the Christians there, as it often is today.

Joy, along with the fruit of the Spirit, stands in contrast to the works of the flesh (see Galatians 5:19-21). Only new life in Christ equips the believer to walk in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:16-18, 24-25).

The permanence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in our lives allows us to continually access supernatural joy/happiness. To be robbed of the ability to rejoice or of the source of joy, a believer would have to be robbed of our joyful God’s indwelling.

adapted from an article “The Fruit of the Spirit Are Ingredients of Happiness” August 3, 2020, by Randy Alcorn – http://www.patheos.com

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