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Fruit  |  Week 8: Joy

 

Joy, because it is an emotion, is often difficult to put into words. It goes beyond happy, its sometimes intoxicating, other times it’s an overwhelming sense of calm or a feeling of completeness and peace. When we sing, “joy to the world, the Lord has come,” we can recognize the many sides of what it means to be joyful. The joy of knowing Jesus is never just a fleeting happiness.  More than that, the knowledge of who Jesus is, fills us with a confidence to be the people God is calling us to be. And joy, perhaps surprisingly, shows up often in adversity. Because of Jesus, joy wells up from within us as an outward manifestation of our new and transforming life as his follower, regardless of circumstances. “Rejoice always, I will say it again, rejoice!”

 

READ 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7

“You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers...”

READ the verse again and consider these related questions.

How does the Holy Spirit bring us joy?

 

What enable us to be joyful in the midst of sever suffering?

 

How can exhibiting joy (or any fruit of the Spirit) be a model for others?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Read John 16:20-21

 

1. What types of things does our society celebrate that are contrary to God’s Word?

 

2. If, as followers of Jesus, we mourn the things that others celebrate, where does our joy come from?

 

3. Point out the joy that we have in our present reality as well as our promised future eternity?

 

Read Hebrew 12:2-3

 

4. Discuss why Jesus would be full of joy knowing that he would endure great suffering and shame.

 

5. Do you see any link between “the joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10) and this passage?

 

Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-4

 

6.  Discuss why these believers could be overwhelmed with joy even while the faced difficult situations?

 

7. Describe how God’s faithfulness is apparent when we heed the call to “rejoice always.”

 

8. How is the fruit of the Spirit evidence of a transformed life?