Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we seek to understand the joy of the spirit.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Joy of the Spirit
Jesus said, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that
your joy might be full." John, Chapter 15, Verse 11.
Brothers and sisters, spiritual joy occurs is that spiritual emotion that we perceive when we
experience spiritual values. This joy is not related to material meanings and values, only spiritual
ones. Material joy is subject to the vicissitudes of a temporal and material existence. Spiritual joy--
being eternal--does not share these limitations of material reality. Spiritual joy grows out of the
realization that we are sons and daughters of the eternal and infinite Father who is love and of the
meanings and values that such a relationship conveys.
Spiritual joy is always present in our souls as long as we maintain our relationship with the Father.
Spiritual values and meanings are inherently joyful. This joy pervades all moral activities with the
scent of pleasure. It uplifts the routine tasks of daily existence. When material joy departs, spiritual
joy is still present. It is this joy that imparts happiness to our souls even when experiencing material
upheavals. No matter how hard and crushing material life may be sometimes, we can always
experience our relationship with the Father, which is joy.
The conscious experience of our relationship with the Father through His Son, Jesus, fills us with
the hope that is needed to sustain us through the trying material experiences of time. Hope is also
an eternal quality. As such it is eternally present, and since it encompasses the past, the present and
the future, it is able to use the reactions of a future time and reflect those reactions back into the
present. It can likewise take reactions from the past and focus them into the present. It can even take
reactions of the present and focus them into the past and future, thus filling the moment with eternal
Spiritual joy is always associated with truth. The revelations of truth in our minds and souls are a
thing of joy forever. Consider the following: "you should renew your mind in the spirit." To renew
the mind in the spirit does not merely refer to a recharging of the mind with new energy and new
ideas, but actually means to recreate the mind, to make it a brand new creation, to make it spiritual
and eternal. This is salvation, the born again experience. The first birth is of the flesh; the second
birth is of the spirit. Such an experience is truly the experience of being born again.
The recreation of our minds with the recreation of the meanings and values in spiritual form is truly
a new creation. This new creation, the soul, can experience the joy of the spirit, can experience joy
in the spirit. To experience this joy requires shifting of our consciousness from the material reality
to the spiritual reality. And here is an apparent paradox: We have the power to transcend the actual
state of a material existence, and to experience the potential state of a spiritual existence. We are
spirit in potential. In the spiritual universe, the potential and the actual are equally real, of equal
value, and this is demonstrated in our experiences when we actually experience the qualities of a
potential spiritual state. The joy of the spirit allows us to carry on as seeing Him who is invisible.
The recreated mind can be spirit taught, guided, and shaped. This is opposed to the mere learning
of new material ideas. The teaching of the mind refers to the quality of thinking, the direction of
thinking, the accumulation of divine ideals where the mind is configured or patterned after the divine
mind, and seeks to translate these spiritual ideals down into the material level of reality. Such a mind
is basically joyful in its spirit reactions. It is no longer confined and irretrievably linked to the
material reality which it is apart. It is no longer doomed to extinction when the material life forces
are spent. While still functioning as apart of the material life, it is now endowed with the power to
transcend the material life, to live on and on eternally after its material demise.
The conscious realization of eternal life in the face of looming mortal death is joy, everlasting joy
that can still shine through the anguish and sorrow of material life. This joy is manifested outward
as loving kindness and tender hearted mercy, and with unspeakable tranquility of poise even in the
face of such a depressed state. This joy keeps hope alive with the sure spiritual knowledge that
eventually divine love will prevail as it continually narrows the gap between the actuality of the
material state, and the potentiality of the spiritual state of pure, unmixed, and undiluted joy.
This concludes today's message on the joy of the spirit. We hope you find something in this message
to ponder and pray about as you go about your day. Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.