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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT:

II. JOY

(Galatians 5:22)

"The Fruit of the Spirit is love expressed through JOY!" The dictionary defines joy as "exultation of spirit; gladness; delight."

We as Christians must be careful not to mistake happiness for joy. Happiness is an emotion that is dependent on positive circumstances or situations. The word joy, or a variation of the word, appears 330 times in the Bible. Happiness only appears 26 times. Matthew Henry's statements after being robbed: "Let me rejoice and be thankful. First, because I was never robbed before. Second, because although they took my wallet, they didn't take my life. Third, because although they took my all, it wasn't much. Fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed."

I believe that the Bible makes it clear that our joy is different than that of Jesus. (John 15:11) As with Agapé Love, Joy is an eternal characteristic of God. As God is constant and steadfast in His very nature, (Malachi 3:6-a) His eternal characteristic of Joy remains constant and steadfast no matter what the circumstances or situation might possess.

This is best illustrated in the life of Christ. (Hebrews 12:2) - "...Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Let's examine Jesus' joy and how He obtained and maintained this expression of Love!

1. Jesus had purpose:

a. (Matthew 18:11)

b. (Matthew 20:28)

c. Without a vision or purpose in our lives, the Bible says that we perish. (Proverbs 29:18)

2. Jesus knew where to find Joy:

a. (Psalms 16:11)

b. (Nehemiah 8:10)

c. (Psalms 51:12)

3. Jesus knew the outcome:

a. (James 1:2-4)

b. (Revelation 21:1-8)
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