Christian Joy – In Gospel Fruitfulness

Here I round out my triad of reflections on joy (see Joy in God and Joy in Trouble). This is certainly not meant to be an exhaustive list. But I trust it is a helpful list.  

The Christian also has joy in gospel fruitfulness. What a joy it is to see the overcoming power of the gospel.

There is joy for the one who is the recipient of gospel ministry. After the eunuch was baptized and Philip was wisked away by the Spirit of God, “he went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). When “the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region…the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:49-52). The one who receives the gospel can truly say, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace…” (Rom. 10:15). Paul said, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again” (Phil. 4:10).

There is also joy for the one who is the giver of the gospel. When Barnabas traveled from Jerusalem to the church in Antioch “and had seen the grace of God, he was glad” (Acts 11:23). John said he had “no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4). Paul encouraged the Philippians to hold fast to the word of life that “I may rejoice in the day of Christ” (Phil. 2:16).

Spurgeon put it this way:

“If you are eager for real joy, such as you may think over and sleep upon, I am persuaded that no joy of growing wealthy, no joy of increasing knowledge, no joy of influence over your fellow-creatures, no joy of any other sort, can ever be compared with the rapture of saving a soul from death, and helping to restore our lost brethren to our great Father’s house.” Charles Spurgeon, The Soul Winner, p. 213-14.

Christians share joy in the gospel as they live out the truth of it together. As Paul said to the Philippians, “I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me” (Phil. 2:17b-18).

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