Romans 14:17 reads: “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (NASB). That is, joy is love’s reaction to the blessings of God and His great mercy and forgiveness.
Now, human joy often is focused upon earthly things and is affected by the conditions that surround us. The joy that is rooted in the fruit of the Spirit, however, focuses on God and what He has done for us. It is not motivated by surrounding conditions. As God’s people, we are to be joyful. This does not mean that we have to smile all the time, even though a friendly smile expresses much. But our trust in God will give us abundant reasons to rejoice with unspeakable joy over what He has done for us and in us. Spiritual joy is the result of active faith.
Peace is more lasting than joy. Peace comes as a result of being justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1). When we are at peace with God, the Holy Spirit will lead us to be peaceful and patient toward others. Because the God of peace will be with us (Phil. 4:9) through the Holy Spirit, we will not be quarrelsome and vengeful toward others. Instead we will seek to live as peaceably as possible with everyone (Rom. 12:18).
Read 2 Peter 3:9. How does patience reflect the character of God?
Patience is not a prevalent characteristic of human beings. It means putting up with others or with circumstances, even when things do not run smoothly. Yet even in trials, we are not alone. God sustains us through His Holy Spirit and builds patience, which is a characteristic mark of the believers in the end time (Rev. 14:12). Only those who aim at a worthy goal can be patient.
|Joy, peace, and patience. How much of this fruit do you experience in your life? In which of these areas do you need more work done in you?|