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The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

Songs prompted by the Holy Spirit give praise and thanksgiving to God. David’s songs of praise show his inspired joy in the Lord (Psa. 71:23). When Paul was imprisoned with Silas in the Philippian dungeon, they occupied their time in prayer and singing praises to God (Acts 16:25). Such a response to barbarous treatment cannot be attributed to heroic human effort. The joy of the Spirit caused these men to transcend wounds and chains as they engaged in communion with their Lord. They proved the validity of Jesus’ promise, “no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22, MEV).

The prophet Habakkuk is a great example of joy in trial. He describes the desolate condition of Judea during the captivity. The trees were not bearing fruit, the fields were barren, the cattle had disappeared (Hab. 3:17). Nevertheless, Habakkuk was filled with spiritual joy: “… yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3:18, MEV). Also, when the disciples of Jesus Christ were enduring floggings, dungeons, death even, they were “filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52, MEV). They practiced what Paul told the Philippians to do: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4).


Image: Krishnam Moosaddee

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Category: Spirit, Winter 2018

About the Author: James F. Linzey is the chief editor of the Modern English Version Bible translation. His graduate education is a degree in religious studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. His undergraduate degree from Southern California College is a BA in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in religion. He is the author of numerous articles and books. He is a speaker, recording artist, State Chaplain for the California Military Officers’ Association, and retired Army chaplain. Twitter: @JimLinzey

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