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Joy in the Holy Spirit
Lesson 93

 

Why does the Christian seem to have a different kind of happiness than others? Conversion does not alter his physical body, the color of his eyes, or the shape of his nose. His financial standing is not changed. Yet, his attitudes, interests, and desires are different. He has a new way of life and a new kind of joy. There is no dictionary definition for this kind of joy. Kaleidoscopic, with many facets, it simply has to be experienced to be appreciated. When David portrayed Christ, he said, “God … hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Psalm 45:7. Everyone who accepts Christ becomes anointed with the same “oil of gladness.”

A contagion of joy surrounds true Christians! After Pentecost, wherever the disciples carried the message of redeeming love, irrepressible joy sprang up. The Spirit of God so filled the disciples that they actually rejoiced that they should be found worthy of suffering for Christ’s sake. (Acts 5:41.) In this, they resembled their Master “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” (Hebrews 12:2.) For the encouragement of the church of the church to the end of time Peter wrote, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.” 1 Peter 4:14.

The fifth book in the New Testament called the Acts of the Apostles could well have been called the Book of Joy, for as the disciples preached Christ in the power of the Spirit, they filled hearts and homes and whole cities with heavenly joy. When Philip preached Christ in Samaria, the Sacred Record says, “there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:8.) Moreover, speaking of the Gentile converts who took their stand in Antioch of Pisidia, the Bible says,  “The disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.” Acts 13:52. Joy invariably accompanies the operations of the Holy Ghost.

In times like these when so much feuding and fighting divides homes and neighborhoods, churches and nations, we need the fresh winds of the Holy Spirit to breathe upon us heavenly joy. If we have the Holy Spirit, then we will count trials and temptations for Christ’s sake a joy! (James 1:2.) In this twilight hour of earth’s history that precedes Christ’s actual coming in the clouds of glory, we need a new revelation of the joy that filled and overflowed the heart of Christ, the happiest Man that ever lived.

Paul described God’s kingdom as “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17.) There must be joy where God says there is joy. Moreover, God says there is joy in the Holy Ghost. How do we receive this joy? Paul said, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13. How do we get “all joy”? By believing.  What is the source of “all joy”? “The power of the Holy Ghost.” The presence of the Holy Spirit in the soul brings health-giving, life-giving joy.

Can the mentally ill and the emotionally disturbed experience all joy and peace? Indeed, God specializes in what man calls hard cases and impossible situations! Is there hope for the irritable and nervous? Of course. For the gambler and alcoholic? Surely! For the philanderer and the adulteress? Yes!

God wants His children to be happy. Paul’s admonition in Philippians 4:4 speaks to every Christian: “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” We may find the same happiness Jesus had just where He found it. Jesus “rejoiced in the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 10:21, R.S.V.) Weymouth translates, “Jesus was filled by the Holy Spirit with rapturous joy.”

“Joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8) awaits you if you open your heart wide to the Holy Spirit. Begin today to obey the inner promptings of the Spirit by doing those things you know the spirit would have you to do. You will find joy in reading your Bible, in prayer, in telling someone else about your faith in Jesus. You may find inner satisfaction in being kind, thoughtful, and considerate; in giving help to the needy, encouragement to the downhearted, and love to the lonely.


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