Here are the four questions we will be covering in the new sermon series on Fruit of the Spirit: What is Joy? What is Opposite to Joy? What Pretends to be Joy But is Not? How Do We Cultivate Joy? The Bible text on which we base this sermon is found in John 16:16 - 22. Here Jesus tells His disciples that He will soon be finishing His ministry and it is within this context He tells them both about grief as well as joy they will experience. 16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 1. What is Joy? Definition: Joy is the of the Spirit resulting from the enjoyment of the constant privileges which we have in Jesus. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:16-22) Not only some but all ‘of you’ are to have this joy. Joy is the characteristic of God “I was with him in the beginning, and through me, he created all things…I was delighted in mankind and I was filled with delight every day.” (Prov. 8) The Lord takes delight in you and he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) Joy is the Essence of the Gospel What is the gospel? It's the It's the news which primarily brings joy to those who and Why do we love: good book, good story, good movie? 2. What is Opposite to Joy? First, what is not opposite to joy? Pain, suddness and suffering are not opposite to joy In fact, in Christian experience: pain, sadness and suffering coexist together with joy. 20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. “For the sake of joy which was before Him, He ran the race.” (went through pain) - Heb. 12 As a follower of Jesus you become more ‘extreme’. You experience and feel both: and So,what is opposite of joy? It's “… we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit …” (Rom. 5:3) ”I don’t want you to grieve as those who don’t have hope… “(1 Thess. 4:13) 3. What Pretends to Be Joy But is Not? “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” Joy does not depend on life The counterfeit joy is the feeling when we rest in our blessing rather than in the One who blesses us. 4. How Do We Cultivate Joy? Because Jesus is the One who produces joy in me I need to: Pray to Jesus Know Jesus Obey Jesus Pray to Jesus and Know Jesus: If we take time to pray and talk to and listen to Jesus and meditate on His Word, we will see Him and joy will be cultivated within us. Do this . Obey Jesus One of the reasons why we don't have joy is because our conscience is not at . The essence of joy is a clear . What are the essentials of clear conscience? You are FORGIVEN. You are ACCEPTED. You REPENT.