ALL JOY AND PEACE
The true joy of every Christian is never based on circumstances. The source of this joy is not found in worldly possessions, accomplishments, or the people in our lives, though they are all blessings that make us feel happy and satisfied. The real joy of a Christian is rooted in who God is.
Reference: Romans 15:13 King James Version (KJV) "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
What more could Paul wish for His fellow Christians than to be filled with all joy and peace? If you have them in your life, you'll abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost. In other words, joy and peace are means to an end. So by the Spirit, Paul declared a blessing of joy and peace over the Roman Christians.
Paul's prayer sounds simple but powerful. Joy and peace are experiences we have in our hearts, minds and spirit before we see them manifest outwardly. It is what God can do in the heart and mind of every Christian through the inner workings of the Holy Spirit. They all have to do with what goes on "on the inside". It is an attitude of mind we express toward others, which means, people can witness them in our lives.
People in the world can be filled with good works, knowledge and special abilities and not have true joy and peace. Knowledge abound, many are involved in good deeds or great accomplishments, and yet fear, worry, discouragement, and depression are on the rise. Why is it so? This is what the problem is: lack of true joy and peace.
Joy and peace are a strong foundation in the mind. They are healthy emotional dimensions that help to build and increase our confidence in God. Paul says, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing". In other words, they help to shape and strengthen our belief system. Joy and peace are not just positive emotions, they help us to fulfil our God-given assignment from a position of rest. They also help us to grasp deeper understanding of the Word and function in it. They are the emotions that make our Christian life worth living, moment by moment.
Galatians 5:22 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness." Joy and peace are among the listed fruit of the Spirit in the Bible. So it is the Holy Spirit that produces them in our lives. The intention of the Holy Spirit, which is the design of the Kingdom of God, is to produce joy and peace in our believing, and to put an end to despair and strife lingering within our belief system, so we may abound in hope. This purpose is also demonstrated through the gospel we preach. Sharing the gospel ensures that men receive their salvation, which in turn promotes pure joy and peace, thereby conditioning or inducing them to lay aside all causes of contention and bitter strife.
I personally believe that joy and peace construct our attitude in Christ and uphold our core identity, values, and priorities in the Kingdom. This is the reason Romans 14:17 (NLT) says, "For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Most times where there are no joy and peace, a quarrelsome, despondent or argumentative spirit can be magnified, even among the brethren. Though Paul was specifically addressing the Romans, he does not want any Christian to function in low spirits or from loss of hope or courage. So he prays that the God of hope would fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Psalm 16:11; Romans 12:12; Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 14:17.
Guided Prayer: Precious Father in heaven, I thank you for every opportunity to participate in your provision and receive your gift of unspeakable joy and peace. They are peculiar characteristics of my faith and life in Christ. I don't function from the realm of despondence and strife, rather I enjoy daily the joy and peace produced in my life by the influence of the Holy Spirit. They are the inward graces that rub off outwardly on those around me, and I'm grateful for their manifestation in my life in Jesus' Name, Amen!