Fruitful 3: Joy
The spiritual fruit of 'joy' means something different to "being happy." In this third study we'll see that joy is actually relational.
- Every gospel leader should be filled with joy but…
- …this fruit (joy = chara) is about relationships
- Spirit-filled leaders brings joy to – and find joy in – those whom they serve
- E.g. Philippians 2:2, 4:1
- Calvin: “Joy does not here, I think, denote that joy in the Holy Ghost of which he speaks elsewhere, but that cheerful behaviour towards our fellow men, which is the opposite of moroseness.”
- FF Bruce, writing on 1/2 Thessalonians: “he and they were so completely bound in love together that their well-being was his great joy, as his – indeed – was theirs.”
- Bring joy to others
- Learn to find joy in what the Lord is doing in others
Questions to think about
- How would people in the church describe your temperament? Are you – be honest – a joy bringer? What could you practically do to become one?
- How easy do you find it to find joy in what the Lord is doing in others? What might you do to find out what he is doing?
- Are there particular people you find joy-sapping? Why? What could you do to encourage them?
- Confess any lack of joy, cynicism, bitterness or jealously that might be a ‘natural’ reaction in your dealings with others.
- Pray for the Spirit to fill you so that this supernatural fruit might be at work in you and evident to all.
Further passages to reflect on
Philippians 4:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20