The Spirit of Joy

Some years back, I had the great privilege to hear my dear friend Bonnie preach on several occasions at a Chinese church. Bonnie is such a gifted speaker with revelatory messages, and she gets asked to speak at many places.

If you have Jesus in your heart, there you will also have His joy. “…the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

This church had its chapel on the second floor. In the back of the chapel was a prayer room, and a few of us would gather there praying for the service that we would follow. There would be so much more accomplished in our services if we would pray more for our services.

Count your blessings and give your problems to the Lord. “Always be joyful. Always keep on praying…for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 TLB).

I would go to these services early by myself so I could pray for the service. I would always find this one Chinese woman there in the prayer room, and her name was Phoebe. She was so filled with the Holy Spirit that you could sense it from across a room.

It is only when we have peace with God that we can have peace within ourselves. “May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in Him…” (Romans 15:13 NOG).

Phoebe only spoke Chinese, so when we would meet in the prayer room, we would both just pray in our heavenly language. We would take turns praying, and though we did not know what each other was praying for, yet we knew. The purposes of God transcend the languages of man.

Never give the keys to your happiness to anyone besides the Lord. “…In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

After the services, Bonnie and I would minister to people, praying for them and encouraging them. When Phoebe would approach me for prayer, and I would anoint her forehead with oil, she would instantly collapse to the floor and start laughing and rolling around. It was a joy to watch her!

I want to live a life so filled with the joy of the Lord, that when people see me, it is as if my tail wags so much that it makes my whole body wiggle! “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52). The Holy Spirit is always accompanied by joy.

Here is a picture of us there one night, from left to right, Bonnie, Phoebe, me and David.

So many get burdened by bitterness over the circumstances of their life. But when we put away our bitterness and become filled with the joy of the Lord, our lives will be drastically transformed by the Spirit of Joy. The joy of eternity trumps the circumstances in a day.

How is it that we can have the joy of the Lord in the midst of suffering? Because the suffering is in our soul, while the joy is in our spirit. “To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” (Isaiah 61:3).

Unfortunately, I have not been to that church in a long time. They did not want Bonnie to teach there anymore because some of the elders struggled with the Spirit-filled message. I understand that and we must respect the leaders of any church we would visit. But I truly miss praying in that prayer room and seeing this special sister in Christ named Phoebe, who was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit!

Don’t be discouraged by a bad day, but only grow from it. “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).

Phoebe and I never once spoke a word to each other that we could understand in the natural, but we shared something far more special than any natural language can express. When the Holy Spirit is poured out on people worshiping and praying to the Lord, there are no words than can fully describe it.

Nothing can touch a saint filled with the Holy Spirit. “…for the kingdom of God is…righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

I pray that you could experience this filling of the Holy Spirit and the joy of the Lord in your life. It is nothing you must strive for but only receive as a blessing and a gift from your heavenly Father. Choose to let joy and peace reign in your life, and you will be a blessing to all those around you.

The filling of the Holy Spirit is measured by the fruit that flows out. “But the fruit of the Spirit is…joy…” (Galatians 5:22).

Blessings to you,

Paul Balius

All Scripture is in red and uses the NKJV (New King James Version) translation unless otherwise noted.

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