I want the joy of the Master [Lord]. I want to be more than happy. I want to celebrate God’s victory in my life. I want to show the goodness of God. God promises, through the power of the Holy Spirit, it will grow like fruit. Now that is some good news.
The “fruit of the Spirit” is what happens when the Holy Spirit indwells us. The “fruit” is the product of the Holy Spirit’s cultivation of character in our heart. Galatians 5:22-23 describes what that fruit looks like; the second characteristic listed is joy.
The Greek word for joy is chara. Joy is the natural reaction to the work of God, whether promised or fulfilled. Joy expresses God’s kingdom — His influence on earth.
“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
The Spirit’s production of joy can manifest in several different ways.
The joy of deliverance. When God sets someone free, rejoicing is in order. I was tied up missing God’s goal (aka sin). Jesus, my Master, set me free. I am now His slave.
- 1 Samuel 2:1: Hannah was filled with joy at her deliverance from her enemies.
- Acts 12:14: The servant girl was so overjoyed that God had rescued Peter from prison that she forgot to let Peter in the house.
- Exodus 18:9: Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the Master had done to Israel, in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians.
To those anticipating Jesus the Messiah
The Holy Spirit brings joy to believers, giving them an inner contentment and happiness which is not dependent upon external circumstances.
The Greek word is χαρά chara, (khar-ah) meaning calm delight:— gladness, greatly, to be exceeding joyful.
It is easy to forget about joy. It is essential in the Kingdom of God. The Beatitudes (aka The Jesus Manifesto) traditionally use the word “blessed”. Most translators agree the better translation is “Happy” or “More than Happy”. For the joy that was set before Jesus, he endured the crucifixion. The joy of the Master is my strength.
In Acts we learn this.
And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Note that it was not a sometime kind of thing. It was continual. They were always joyful and happy. It is just who they were, like Jesus. This is where I get to say one of my favorite things. God is in a good mood!
We are a people of hope and joy!
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s dig into the scripture.
The Holy Spirit gives joy to Jesus the Messiah
Jesus came to usher in the Kingdom of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus died for us but approached in great joy. Jesus knew how the story would end.
- Luke 10:21 — At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Master of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.”
- Hebrews 1:9 — “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”
The Holy Spirit gives joy to those anticipating Jesus the Messiah’s birth
Imagine being there and awaiting with such anticipation for the arrival of the Messiah. Elizabeth and Zacharias, both filled with the Holy Spirit, were overcome with joy.
- Luke 1:41–45 — When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! “And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Master would come to me? “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Master.”
- Luke 1:67–68 — And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Master God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people.”