Love & Joy
Gal. 5:22-23 “But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit…” (TPT)
Love is the first component of the fruit of the Holy Spirit listed in our scripture reference. We looked at a part of it in yesterday’s devotional. Today we will pick up from where we stopped. 1 Cor. 13:8-9 “Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!” No matter how accurate you are prophetically, you are only seeing a part of the picture; that is what Paul is saying in this portion of scripture. 1 Cor. 13:10-11 “But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” One of the most painful things is to be married to a childish person, petty, selfish [me, me, me!] It is horrible. Childish things do not leave us easily, we have to leave childish things.
Did Paul say, when I grew up, childish things left me? It does not exist in any Bible translation. When I grew up, “I” put away childish things. Childish things will try to tag along but “I” will have to say “No!” 1 Cor. 13:12 “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” This was Paul that was full of spiritual depth writing and he says all that he knows now is partial. Amazing! 1 Cor. 13:13 “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” Faith will last forever, prophecy will not, tongues will not, miracles will not. But Faith will last forever, hope will last forever, and love will last forever.
Paul says, the greatest of these three is love. Unbelievable! If you get this love thing going, you get pretty much the other parts going because they come together. What do I mean? Let us take another look at 1 Cor.13:4 “Love is patient [patience is a fruit of the Spirit] and kind… [kindness is a fruit of the Spirit]” [words inserted; text expanded]. When you go through 1 Cor.13:4-7, you will see the fruit of the Spirit clearly spelled out in every expression of love. If you are a child of God, you have the deposit of the Spirit, it means you have the fruit, remember? You have the fruit and the fruit is complete in you. Walk in it!
The second component of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is Joy. This is not just happiness; happiness is an expression of joy, but joy runs deeper than happiness. Happiness is based on happenings. But with joy, there is so much more. Joy is the fruit of the Spirit; it is birthed in us through the Holy Spirit. Joy is so important; it keeps on going, it strengthens us. Neh.8:10 “…Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” One of the things the Holy Spirit infuses in us through His fruit is Joy. Joy is like a river; it is not dependent on happenings.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, help me do all things in love and overflow with joy, in Jesus Name. Amen!