This month we are studying the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. The Holy Spirit is busy in our hearts growing these fruits as an outward display of our growing relationship with God. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). An example SOAP from our team is below today’s Bible reading. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP or thoughts on the verse. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
Joy – 2 Corinthians 7
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Paul’s Joy Over the Church’s Repentance
2 Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one. 3 I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. 4 I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.
5 For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.
8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. 13 By all this we are encouraged.
In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you. 14 I had boasted to him about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well. 15 And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling. 16 I am glad I can have complete confidence in you.
2 Corinthians 7:4
Paul is responding to the Corinthians regarding a letter that was evidently lost, so we don’t know what that letter said, though it sounds like it may have been a bit harsh. But Paul still continues to encourage them. He knew they had so much potential, but some hard things had to be said and experienced in order for them to break through.
The definition of JOY is “the emotion evoked by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” Paul desired to see a change in the Corinthians actions, and when it finally happened after some hard times, he had JOY for them. Joy isn’t an easy emotion for me. While reflecting on this passage, I was reminded of my aunt JOYce and the blog she kept of her 3-year battle with cancer. Through her agonizing pain, she still had JOY – always capitalizing the word JOY and using the signature JOYce. I can’t explain how she stayed so positive, but it’s something everyone around her recognized. She helped countless people come to know Jesus, and she knew her final destination – perhaps that is where she and Paul are the same. Through this awareness, I discovered that it is not in spite of our trials but because of them that we experience the JOY of the Lord. I need to slow down so that I can see the JOY that surrounds me, and expect trials to be in the wake.
Father, thank You for the emotions You’ve given us to process life – in hard times and in the good times. JOY is hard for me to feel sometimes, but You reminded me of JOYce and the life she lived. Help me to find JOY in everything, though I know I may need to start small!
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.