Post Featured Image

Juicy Fruit Sermon Series // Part 2


Fruit of the Spirit // Joy


Fruit is inherent with the species.

Connected to Christ, we produce His fruit – His character traits

Fruit develops over time.

God produces fruit in us as we daily walk with Him and as we encounter situations and people with characteristics that are opposite of the Fruit of the Spirit.


Today, we talk about joy.

Galatians 5:22 NLT

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy…”

If you ask people what their number one ambition in life is, most people will say, “I just want to be happy.”

In fact, we want it so bad that we even fake it when we don’t have it.

1. Have you ever seen anyone walk into a glass door? I mean, “Wham!” Knocked backwards. What’s the first thing we do? Look around – see if anyone is watching. We smile like all the world is as it should be and we go on.

It’s easy to be happy when everything’s going your way. But what about the rest of your life? If you’re only happy when everything’s well, you’re going to be unhappy most of your life.

Happiness depends on happenings. It comes from the root word “hap,” which means “luck” or “circumstance.” “I’m happy today because things happen to be right.”

Joy is different. Joy is an attitude and a choice. Joy is an inside job, not an outward circumstance.

So here’s my sermon today, you can choose, regardless of the circumstances, to be joyful. 

Romans 5 tells us why we can have joy at all times.

1. We have hope.

We can be joyful – we can live joyfully because we have hope.


Paul says in Romans 5:1-2 NLT:
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

The NIV verse 2 says, “…we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

I read that, on average, a person can live 40 days without food, 3 days without water, eight minutes without air, but not one minute without hope.

Now, I’m not talking about a “pumped up” kind of hope that fades with change. But a deep abiding hope. It’s not based on the stock market, a promotion, a large salary, or your good looks. All that is temporary.

I’m talking about a hope based in truth, not fiction, not fake news. Hope in truth.


Here’s some hope-filled truth:

1. Psalm 42:5 NLT
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior…” 

2. Jeremiah 17:7 NLT
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”

3. Romans 15:13 NLT
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

4. I Peter 1:21 NLT
“Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.”


You see, you’re not going to find hope in the headlines… You’re not going to find hope in a bottle… You won’t find hope in your drug use.

You’re only masking the fact that your hope is built on false assumptions. But there is a hope – a hope that is inward born and is based on relationship with God. Come what may, we have a confident assurance everything’s going to be alright.


God has a purpose in every situation.


We can rejoice - we can live with joy, knowing God has a purpose in every situation.


Romans 5:3 NLT
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.

A. The Greek word for “problems and trials” means “distress” and it refers to anything that puts us under pressure.

B. Oh, this is so important. Many people have this misconception that when they get rid of their problems, they will be happy.

But, you know as well as I, we will never get rid of all our problems. And when we think we have – even that is a problem!


Joy is learning to enjoy life in spite of problems.

Joy is not the absence of suffering, but the Presence of God.

Paul’s not teaching us to fake joy. He’s not teaching us to put on a plastic smile and deny reality and pretend all is well.

I’m convinced this is a huge stumbling block to those outside the church.

1. We think as Christ-followers we shouldn’t struggle and have problems. So much so, we won’t admit our lives are not all together; we’re not honest about our relationships – they should at least “appear” perfect. We can’t let anyone in to see and share our pain, so we mask it and deny it and bury it.

Like me falling off the seat knocking myself out, but getting back in the chair acting like, “I’ve got it together” when everyone around knew I’m an idiot!

It’s ok to be honest. It’s ok to have struggles. It’s life – you’re just alive and because you are, there will be issues.

Paul says, “We can rejoice when we run into problems and trials” because they have purpose.

And the purpose is to develop the character of Jesus Christ in us!

C. It becomes a matter of perspective. Our perspective makes all the difference in the world. Paul tells us to rejoice even in the tough times because we have hope and we know God is working in our lives. We have perspective.

1. Room full of new toys – pessimist stressed out – can’t enjoy.

2. Barn full of manure.

There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere.

Listen, sometimes you’ve just got to sling it off of you and go on living in the hope that God has something better for you!


Let me give you 3 ways to cultivate that joy in the midst of trials. So important we understand this.

1. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

  • Look for the “little” things to be thankful for.
  • I Thessalonians 5:18 says: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

2. Cultivate an inner joy by giving.

  • Here’s how this works. If you get discouraged in the trials, you quit giving of yourself to the cause.
  • You know and I know there is joy in giving.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:7, “God loves a cheerful giver – a hilarious giver.”
  • There’s something enjoyable about giving. It’s because God made us to give.
  • Walking away knowing someone was blessed because of you – you made their day – you encouraged them or made them laugh or smile – there’s no feeling like it!


Listen, I’m not fully sure we grasp what all is done through our giving of just our finances alone.

I sat here Wednesday morning with the Lord and just began to think about what all happens in here.

  • Lives changed
  • Friendships made
  • Habits broken
  • Eternity sealed
  • Singing and laughing and crying and using our talents and gifts

Out of here flows ministries that are touching hundreds of kids and restoring families, and impacting our world.

  • Hope Again Care Center
  • 4 congregations birthed from here (Multicultural, Royal Oak, Afresh, here)
  • Nicaragua, Virgin Gorda, China, Africa, and Israel
  • Celebrate Recovery and RFKC and Upward Sports
  • 100’s of volunteers with places to serve

Don’t underestimate the power of your tithe and giving.

  • It’s crazy, isn’t it? People squabble over how much is tithe – should I tithe? Some tithe more than 10%. Some tithe on gross or net. Some tithe on salary. Some tithe on their business or company.
  • And many don’t even understand what it is. 10% of your income belongs to God and I’m telling you when you reach that day that it’s not the amount, it’s the end result that matters to you, you can give with joy and even hilariously! Because you and I have partnered together, we are accomplishing things beyond our wildest imagination.


3. Cultivate a heart of joy through serving.

  • It is just fun to serve God and others.
  • It takes the focus off of me and makes someone else important for a while.
  • The happiest people in this church, or any church, are those who are giving themselves to advance the Kingdom of God.


So, we can experience joy because we have hope, God has a purpose in our trials, and:

God is with us!

Skip down to verse 11 and we find a third reason we can be joyful:

Romans 5:11 NLT
So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Here we go again with this relationship motif. It’s all about the relationship. It’s all about knowing God and growing in that relationship.

And now Paul opens up this unbelievable insight into it all. Jesus made us friends with God.

You’ve heard me say over and over, how you view God determines how you respond to Him.

1. He isn’t a tyrant.

2. He isn’t an angry, out of touch, old man waiting for you to mess up.

3. He isn’t dishonest and silent and unconcerned.

He is your friend. He is my friend. He is a friend like no other. He is a friend who is the best listener…

He is a friend Who keeps a confidence…

He is a friend who gives the best support. He loves your dreams. He rejoices over you. In fact, He says in Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT):

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

He is a friend that takes delight in you. He takes great pleasure and enjoyment in you.

You see, He’s a friend. He’s not against you. He’s not your enemy. He’s not your foe – He’s your friend.

He’s your friend who rejoices over you so much He breaks out in singing.

It is in truly coming to understand the Heart of God that we can begin to open up our hearts to His.

So,

1. We have hope.

2. There is purpose in our trials.

3. God is with us.




Worship Set

For Who You Are 

- Marty Sampson

Verse 1

Standing here
In Your presence
Thinking of the good things
You have done
Waiting here patiently
Just to hear Your still small voice again

Misc 1 (Pre-Chorus)

Holy righteous
Faithful to the end
Saviour healer
Redeemer and friend

Chorus 1

I will worship You for who You are
I will worship You for who You are
I will worship You for who You are
Jesus

Misc 2 (Bridge)

My soul secure
Your promise sure
Your love endures always


His Hands

- Jacob Park

Verse 1

His hands created all of life
His hands they placed every star
His hands they carried the cross
If He carries the world He can carry me

Verse 2

His grace surprised my prideful strength
His grace overcomes every fear
His grace is my second chance
If He carries the world He can carry me

Chorus 1

I’m carried by His hands
I’m carried by His grace
He is the lifter of my head
He reminds me that I’m safe
If He carries the world He can carry me

Verse 3

His love can never be restrained
His love overwhelms me to tears
His love God’s greatest plan for me
If He carries the world He can carry me

Misc 1 (Bridge)

Holy holy holy
Is the Lord Almighty
Worthy worthy worthy
Is the One who carries me


Revelation Song

- Jennie Lee Riddle

Verse 1

Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
Holy holy is He
Sing a new song to Him Who sits on
Heaven's mercy seat

Chorus 1

Holy holy holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of kings
You are my ev'rything
And I will adore You

Verse 2

Clothed in rainbows of living color
Flashes of lightning rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor strength and glory
And power be to You the only wise King

Verse 3

Filled with wonder awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your name
Jesus Your name is power breath and living water
Such a marv'lous mystery yeah