Microsoft Word - #1582 - The Fruit of the Spirit--Joy (spurgeongems.org)
They know nothing of a child’s joy in sure and full forgiveness, spoken by the Father’s own lips as He pressed them to His bosom.
His kiss was never warm upon their cheek. The ring was never on their finger, nor the best robe upon their shoulders. The music and the dancing of the joyous family who are in harmony with the father’s joy over the lost son have never charmed their ears. They are still under dread, which is the fruit of superstition rather than “the fruit of the Spirit.” Many things they do and suffer and all in vain–if the Son did but make them free, they would be free, indeed! I know some whom I am very far from despising, but whom, on the contrary, I greatly value, whose religion, sincere as I know it is, is sadly tinged with gloomy colors. They are afraid of Assurance, for they dread presumption! They dare not speak of their own salvation with the certainty with which the Bible saints were known to speak of it–they always say, “I hope,” and, “I trust.”
They would seem to be total abstainers from joy! They are suspicious of it lest it should be carnal excitement or visionary hope. They hang their heads like bulrushes and go mourning all their days as if the religion of Christ knew no higher festival than a funeral and all its robes were the garments of despair! Brothers and Sisters, despondency is not the fruit of the Spirit! Make no mistake, depression is frequently the fruit of indigestion, or of satanic temptation, or of unbelief, or of some harbored sin, but, “the fruit of the Spirit is joy.” Constantly looking within your own self instead of looking alone to Christ is enough to breed misery in any heart.
Pastor Timothy J. Atkins
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Pastor, Teacher, Discipler, and Follower of Jesus.