The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 9

Welcome to “Front Porch Bible Study Series. We are beginning our study of the second Fruit of the Spirit–JOY. This month we will discover the place where JOY lives deep in our spirits, waiting to be mined out, like precious diamonds. Let’s go mining today for this priceless gift from God!

The Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study Series Week 9: How to find joy in trials.

Click here to read today’s Scripture reading.

Memory Verse: “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:18 NKJV).

Let’s begin with a word study. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of happiness is “A state of well-being and contentment; a pleasurable or satisfying experience.”
Happiness lives in our souls and is based on fickle feelings, emotions, and changing circumstances. This temporary fix is the best the world can offer.

JOY, on the other hand, doesn’t come from the world. God lovingly plants it in our spirits the moment we become His through salvation.
Just as our salvation is permanent, so is our JOY.

In today’s reading, the prophet Habakkuk cries out to God over witnessing the dreaded arrival of the Chaldeans, godless destroyers who have come to conquer and plunder Israel. He pleads with God over how long God will look on evil and not do anything to stop it (Habakkuk 1:2-4; 12-17 NKJV).

God’s response is that He is in control of evil and not to fret. In time, they (the Chaldeans) will pay the price. (1:11). The Lord declares to Habakkuk that
the day of retribution will certainly come, as it’s an appointed time for which to patiently wait. In the meantime, the righteous should live by their faith. (Habakkuk 2: 2-4 NKJV).

Have you ever had your life torn apart unexpectedly? I have. Whether it’s losing a marriage, a child or loved one, a job, career, or finances, we can go into a tailspin, paralleling Israel’s suffering.

We cry out for God’s justice, mercy, and His hand to reverse our situation. We plead with our God, who is too holy to look on evil, and ask Him how He can allow these things to happen.

What should our response to God be?
The answer is the secret to finding JOY during our trials .

Let’s meditate on Habakkuk’s ending prayer:

“Though the fig tree may not blossom,

Nor fruit be on the vines;

Though the labor of the olive may fail,

And the fields yield no food;

Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,

And there be no herd in the stalls—

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will joy in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength;

He will make my feet like deer’s feet,

And He will make me walk on my high hills” (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NKJV).

No matter our circumstances, JOY is planted deep in our spirits. Like Habakkuk, we can mine JOY out of our salvation and rejoice in the Lord–in spite of the trials we experience. God will make us sure-footed and guide us safely along narrow, mountainous paths. Isn’t God so good!

Can you rejoice in your trials?

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Let us remember that our lives aren’t spiraling out of control when we face trials, but You are at the helm. May we trust You and not despair. Teach us to choose to rejoice in our trials and to draw joy from our wells of salvation. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.

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    1. I’m thankful for His mercy and grace, too, sweet Mimi. His mercies are new every morning and His compassions never fail. ❤️xoxo

  1. Excellent Bible study, Karen! Love this: “No matter our circumstances, JOY is planted deep in our spirits.” Amen! I really love Habakkkuk 3:18 “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” I want my heart to say that word “Yet”, or “regardless” or “still” or “even though”. I love the story behind the song “Blessed Be Your Name”. The lyrics:

    “Blessed Be Your name
    When I’m found in the desert place
    Though I walk through the wilderness
    Blessed Be Your name…
    Blessed be Your name
    On the road marked with suffering
    Though there’s pain in the offering
    Blessed be Your name…”

    I have read this several times: “Matt Redman wrote “Blessed Be Your Name” with his wife Beth in response to the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. It reflects on the faithful response to suffering we see all throughout Scripture, especially from Job: praise.” The faithful response to suffering that we see in the Scriptures is praise. Whew! And then Matt said this: “And the more we worship God in and out of suffering, the more we form a response of praise in any circumstance.”

    Rejoicing in the Lord, worshiping Him in all circumstances is a choice. I want to choose joy, and I know that when I feel to weak to be joyful, God promises to show Himself strong in our weakness. I look forward with great joy to this month’s study on joy!

    1. I love your wise words, Becky. Matt Redman sure had it right when he wrote the lyrics to that song. Even though we may walk through valleys of suffering and trials, may we choose to praise and worship our Lord in their midst. He will strengthen us through them and we’ll mine diamonds of joy from our salvation. Amen!

  2. Karen, thank you for this encouraging message as you focus on joy and specifically joy in the midst of trials. I found it to be uplifting and thought-provoking. Joy does indeed bring us through trials if we are steadfast in our faith and lean on Him and follow His guidance.

    I agree that joy is a direct result of what God places in our hearts upon our salvation. If we allow it to grow and overflow, we will be able to pass it on as we encounter others who need to know about the source of our hope. As we give them the gospel message we are to let His light shine through us. Have you ever seen it reflected in their eyes as you see the beginning of their acceptance? That shouts of joy! j

    1. Oh yes, Joyce. You’re so right about that. When I’m serving on the altar team at church, I’ve led several people to the Lord. I always shed tears of joy along with them, and I love seeing the instant change. Their eyes gleam with thanksgiving and joy. The burden of sin with its guilt and shame has been lifted and they are new creations in Christ! Amen ❤️

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