Humanly, you might be thinking how that is possible. The key is that you need to think spiritually. Consider this: miracles are God transcending the physical. Spiritual fruits, of which joy is one, also transcend the physical. That means spiritual love transcends how we normally may respond or react in the physical. Forgiveness is part of love, and so is compassion. You’ve seen accounts where believers have forgiven and had compassion on those who hurt them and killed loved ones. Charleston, South Carolina is an example of that. Roof deliberately opened fire during a bible study and killed nine believers including their spiritual leader. Yet, the family and congregation members extended forgiveness and compassion to Roof. They could have sought vengeance, and they could have sought to harm him, but they didn’t. God’s love transforms. It really underlines that passage in Isaiah where God is quoted as saying His thoughts and ways are higher than ours.
The same applies to joy. Sometimes life can be hard. You could be unemployed or sick or disabled or, like my family is experiencing right now, waiting for a family member to leave this physical life. It’s hard to imagine being joyful in the midst of these times, and,yet, there it is! God helps us see beyond our physical circumstances to see spiritual blessings. God helps us to trust in Him to make all things work for our good (Romans 8:28). God gives us spiritual eyes to see what those who don’t have spiritual eyes can’t. We see His faithfulness, His kindness and provision on a constant basis. We experience His love daily, moment by moment.
My husband and I rejoice because we know my father in law’s spiritual life continues. There have been changes in his spiritual thinking that we know God has worked in him and wants him around for eternity. We rejoice for my father in law. There will be no more pain from cancer, and there will be no inhibitions from the ravages of old age.
So, is there joy in the midst of sorrow? Oh, yes! May God grant you the spiritual eyes to see. You can apply the same principles to each of the fruits of the spirit. They cannot be limited by the physical because they are products of the spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Isaiah 55:9 (NKJV)
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Let’s pray: Father God thanks for these wonderful insights as to the differences between the flesh and the spirit and how the spirit literally transcends the flesh. Help us to know Your ways, Lord, and live and understand them. Grant us the spiritual eyes to see. In Jesus’ name, amen.
copyright 2015, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved