Living with Joy

Living with Joy

Hello again, I’m Randy Gaudet, founder and director of All Thailand Experiences. Those who have read my profile know how I first came to Thailand and my association with missions and churches since 1989.

We use funds from our tours to help the needy, change lives and spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We teach about the Holy Trinity, Love and Grace because of Jesus Christ and to tell Christians they are free from the Law, sin and death.

On all our Bible Truths Christian teaching blogs I will point to scriptures and explain the meaning on the topic. As our mission is to reach Thai people we will then watch or listen to Pastors Nathan and Solila of Abundant Grace Church in Chiang Mai Thailand give a sermon on the topic in English and Thai Languages.

Today we’re going to talk about Living in God’s Joy

Galatians 5:22, NIV: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,”

This verse by Paul describes what all spirit filled Christians already posses in the new birth in Jesus Christ not what they will have. Once you relies you have the presence of God with you and in you all the time you will experience His joy always. As His spirit aligns with your spirit you will never be sad, depressed, fearful, or confused because in the presence of God there if fullness of joy.

What should the lives of those who are free in Christ look like? In other words, how should Christians live if we are not under the law of Moses? Paul has answered that question in two ways so far. First, Christians must not squander our freedom in Christ, which is freedom from under the law, by serving only ourselves (Galatians 5:13–15). That leads to a laundry list of sinful lifestyles. Instead, Paul has written, those in Christ should allow God’s Spirit to lead them into powerful service to others motivated by love (Galatians 5:16–21).

Now Paul begins to offer a new list. This describes what those in Christ should expect to see flowing from their lives when they let the Holy Spirit lead them. Paul calls this the “fruit of the Spirit.” It’s helpful to understand this is meant to imply a single fruit—the Greek term is singular. This is not a list of nine separate fruits, but nine characteristics of the (single) fruit of the Spirit. In Christ, we should expect to see all of these characteristics showing up together as we give God’s Spirit control. They come in no particular order, or rank, or schedule.

Paul begins with love, from the Greek term agapē. This is famously described as “selfless love,” or an attitude that considers other people more than ourselves, without expecting anything in return. God’s Spirit in us produces God’s unconditional love in us for Him and for others (1 Corinthians 13:4–13).

Joy is translated from the Greek chara, which does not necessarily imply happiness. “Joy,” in a biblical sense, is best described as an inner confidence. This allows us to declare to our soul that all is well with us, now and forever, because of our place in Christ. Supernatural peace comes with joy as a result of trusting God and is not dependent on our circumstances (Philippians 4:4–9).

Patience is the ability, in the Spirit, to wait on God’s perfect timing even when our personal agenda seems to be failing. Translated from the term makrothymia, “patience” includes controlling our response to circumstances. This contrasts with the error Paul gave in verse 20, translated “fits of anger,” from the related word thymoi. Scripture uses the term “patience” to mean an ability to endure hardship—to “weather the storm.”

Kindness may be simple, but it is not always easy. The original term, chrēstotēs, includes concepts of being good and gentle. In the Spirit, we can be kind to anyone, even those who are challenging and offensive.

Goodness is the ability to do the right thing in every circumstance. The term agathōsynē implies a moral decency: this describes someone respectable, honorable, and righteous.

Faithfulness is a crucial word, from the Greek term pistis, frequently translated simply as “faith” in the New Testament. This represents a kind of endurance, driven by trust. In the Spirit, Christians can keep going in the right direction, even when we don’t fully understand all God is doing.

Psalm 16:11, KJV: “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

Closing his psalm, David thanks the Lord for showing him the way of life that leads to the joy of heaven. There is nothing drab or boring about heaven. It is a place of fullness of joy and unending delights. The greatest joy comes from being in Jesus’ presence. First Thessalonians 4:17 promises that believers will be with the Lord forever. We will see Him face to face, and we will be like Him (1 John 3:2). Every believer will have a body like His glorified body (Philippians 3:20–21). In heaven we will be free forever from sin, sickness, sadness, and dying. We will enjoy a reunion with our Christian loved ones and friends. We will not be burdened by our present experiences of restricted time and space.

Heaven is an attractive place. Revelation 21—22 describes it as far beyond the glories of any place on earth. It has gates of pearl and streets of gold. Paul, who was caught up to heaven, calls it “paradise” (2 Corinthians 12:2–3). Even when death seems likely (Psalm 16:8–10), those who have put their faith in Christ can look forward with hope and joy.

As we are now under the New Covenant of Jesus Christ and not thw law we don’t have to wait for the joy of heaven. Because His Spirit lives in us as a new creation we have God’s joy along with all His promises through Grace by the blood of Jesus Christ in us now.

Nehemiah says to the people in Nehemiah 8:10…

 “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

So how can we find strength and joy in the Lord? The answers can be found throughout Nehemiah.

First, we can rejoice that God provides for us. He divinely directed the leaders of other empires to provide safe passage and resources for the Israelites to return to their homeland and rebuild the Temple. God will provide you with everything you need if you will trust in Him and believe that He will do it.

Next, we can trust that God’s strength is sufficient in everything. When the people began to fear what was happening around them, Nehemiah encouraged them to remember the power of God as greater than those that threatened them (Nehemiah 4:14). The apostle Paul recognizes that God is greater than what we can offer in 2 Corinthians 12:9, when God “said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Trust that God’s power is stronger than what can come against you (Romans 8:31).

The people also kept themselves dedicated to remaining in God’s Word (Nehemiah 8:1). They sought wise counsel, the leaders ensured that everyone understood the Law, and they devoted a significant portion of their time to corporate worship, study, and fellowship. We should stay steeped in our study and meditation on the Bible, and share our encouragement and godly fellowship with others who are also devoted to God. This is how we can grow together and build up the body of Christ.

Finally, Nehemiah encouraged the people to celebrate! God had delivered them out of exile, and had given them the strength to rebuild their home – that is certainly cause for celebration and generosity (Nehemiah 8:10). When we recognize that God is with us, we can find perfect joy in Him, and we will be quick to share that joy with others by telling them about what God has done for us.

Rejoicing in God can give us the strength to face all of life’s challenges. We can better focus on God instead of our fears, and we can help others learn about the joy we have. Be thankful to God for what He has done, ask Him to remain at the center of your life, and you can be sure that His peace will follow (Philippians 4:6-7).Pastors Nathan and Salila Gonmei of Abundant Grace Church in Chiang Mai Thailand explain Biblically :Living with God’s Joy and how to walk in it in English and Thai languages in the 16 minute video below..

Created by Randy Gaudet with contribution from Abundant Grace Church, Chiang Mai Thailand

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