Led by the Spirit

5. Joy, peace, longsuffering


(chara : joy, delight)

There is a natural joy as we discussed in the previous chapter. We tend to call this happiness. It lacks permanence and promotes constant search and change, as man strives to hold on to its benefits. There is a way that seems right to a man, but even in the laughter and so called joy of man’s way; there is sorrow or grief

(Prov 14:12-13 NIV) There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. [13] Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.

Natural joy always decays; it sometimes provokes jealousy and bitterness. It is like a broken cistern. (Job 20:5 NIV) that the mirth of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.

Spiritual joy never fails, but grows stronger day by day. It comes from a heart that is constantly aware of the source and is actively involved in the spiritual life.

JOY in sins forgiven. JOY in the salvation of others.

This joy is more than inward blessings, or outward circumstances. It is joy in the blesser Himself.

(Psa 51:12 NIV) Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
(Psa 126:6 NIV) He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
(Isa 35:10 NIV) and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
(Hab 3:18 NIV) yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
(Phil 4:4 NIV) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

The gardener who spends time in his garden gets great joy from the things in the garden. The Lord as a gardener bestows joy on His garden; the church.

(Psa 30:11 NIV) You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
(Isa 61:3 NIV) and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

His joy makes our joy complete.

(John 15:11 NIV) I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Having His joy is the key to being strong. The joy of the Lord is our strength.

(Neh 8:10 NIV) Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”


(eirene: harmonious relationship.)

This is not the kind of peace that the world is striving to achieve. This is His peace that is produced in us by the Holy Spirit. It is concerned with having peace with God, so that we can fellowship together, and with Him. This is only possible through sins forgiven.

(Rom 5:1 NIV) Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Jesus gave us His peace; a peace made possible through the cross, since by His sacrifice we have been justified by His blood and saved from God’s wrath. (John 14:27 NIV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

(Rom 5:9 NIV) Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Jesus was never agitated. He was master of every situation. He possessed unshakeable peace. This is Christ’s legacy to the children of God. Its fullness is found in complete separation unto God i.e. Oneness with Him.

Peace grows within our minds, personalities and emotions as we allow the Holy Spirit to take control. Remember the inner witness and our obedience are strong allies in the battleground of the mind (soul).

His peace is needed in the local church. This is not simply atmosphere or feelings. This peace is a possession given by the Lord and flows from the Holy Spirit, as we WILL to follow Him. We speak peace, we act peace, we be peace, we share peace because we love Him who is our peace; Jesus.


(makrothumia: forbearance, patience, longsuffering)

That quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation that does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish; it is the opposite of anger and is associated with mercy. God has set us the example long ago. He was patient in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.

(1 Pet 3:20 NIV) who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,

God continues such patience even to this day. Longsuffering is part of the nature of the Lord. He proclaimed this to Moses as He passed before him.

(Exo 34:6 NIV) And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,

This quality is purposeful. It is to bring the sinner to repentance.

(Rom 2:4 NRSV) Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Consider Christ Jesus who displayed unlimited patience

(1 Tim 1:16 NIV) But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.

Patience is one of the ways we can show forth love.

(1 Cor 13:4 NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

God waits not because He has to, but because He is LOVE. The strengthening of the power of the Holy Spirit results in longsuffering and patience being developed in us and is a mark of an approved ministry.

(2 Cor 6:4-6 NIV) Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; [5] in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; [6] in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love.
(2 Tim 4:2 NIV) Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Our way of life speaks, and longsuffering is one of the great lessons we are to show forth to all people.