"The Power To Prevail Over Your Problems"
Series on the Fruit of the Spirit, Msg. # 3

The Fruit of the Spirit is Joy

Read: Galatians 5:16-25
Text: "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16
Theme: The Holy Spirit produces joy that transcends circumstances.


Introduction:
When you daily walk in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in your life. (Remember, fruit is singular, ALL of it is part of EVERY believer's life.)
Tonight, let's examine the second aspect of the fruit of the Spirit which can only come from God, and which should be exercised chiefly toward God. That aspect is joy... joy that transcends circumstances.


I. Joy and happiness are not the same thing.

A. Happiness depends on circumstances.
QUOTE "Happiness in some cases should be spelled 'happen-ness' because it depends on what happens."
B. Joy depends on God.
QUOTE "Joy is not gush; joy is not jolliness. Joy is perfect acquiescence in God's will because the soul delights itself in God Himself."

II. Joy is present as a result of:

A. Knowing Jesus Christ
ILLUS. The Ethiopian Eunuch: "... the eunuch... went on his way rejoicing." Acts 8:39
QUOTE "Now that I know Christ, I'm happier when 'm sad than I was before when I was glad." John C. Wheeler
B. Serving Jesus Christ.
"And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name." Luke 10:17
"And at midnight Paul and Silas... SANG PRAISES unto God..." Acts 16:25
"For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?" 1 Thess. 2:19
C. Seeing people trust Jesus Christ.
"And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren." Acts 15:3
"I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." Luke 15:7
D. The Bible - the words of Jesus Christ..
"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:11
"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." 1 John 1:4
E. Prayer - talking to Jesus Christ.
"Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:24
F. Persecution, trials, problems.
"But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost." Acts 13:51-52
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers tempations (trials)." James 1:2
G. Finishing the course
"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy..." Acts 20:24a
ILLUS. Not being able to make it up Mt. 522.
How I felt versus how I feel now that I can!
H. Fellowship with other Christians
"Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy." 2 Timothy 1:4
"Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full." 2 John 12
QUOTE "Some cause happiness whenever they go; some, whenever they go." (BUT, there is little quite as joyful as Christian fellowship.)

III. Joy is absent when:

(The above things are absent from our walk!)
QUOTE "If you have no joy in your religion, there is a leak in your Christianity somewhere." Billy Sunday
1. Maybe you're not SAVED.
2. Maybe you're not SERVING.
3. Maybe you're not SEEKING THE LOST.
4. Maybe you're not STUDYING THE WORD.
5. Maybe you're not STAYING LONG ENOUGH ON YOUR KNEES.
6. Maybe you're not SUFFERING ENOUGH (or willing to suffer enough.)
7. Maybe you're not willing to STICK WITH IT. (Maybe you're a quitter.)
8. Maybe you're not SEEING ENOUGH OF GOD'S PEOPLE. (Maybe you need fellowship.)
JOY IS THERE, as fruit of the Spirit, but any of these things can keep us from experiencing it.

IV. Joy is:

A. PERMANENT - cannot be taken away
"... I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22
B. INDESCRIBABLE
"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." 1 Peter 1:8
C. Always there for the Christian who is walking in the Spirit!
 

Conclusion:
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16
When you are walking in the Spirit, you have the power to prevail over your problems.
You also have a joy that goes beyond your circumstances.


Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright 1996 William E. Johnson.