Greetings and good morning, 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 nature of spiritual joy.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Nature of Spiritual Joy
"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
" Romans, Chapter 14, Verse 17
Brothers and sisters, this morning we shall examine the nature of the quality of spiritual joy. So much
of our lives in this world is beset by the vicissitudes of life. Sometimes we are pressed so hard that
it is hard to maintain our material equilibrium, such that when we do get a brief summer breeze of
material joy, we really appreciate it. But material joy in this world of constant change does not last
very long, and we are soon thrown back into the ocean of struggle, the incubator of growth through
suffering, pain, and disappointment. At such times it is important that throughout all of these
vicissitudes, we realize that we are still experiencing spiritual joy in our souls, that part of us that
experiences spiritual values, even those of righteousness, peace, and joy.
When Jesus came to earth, he opened up new potentials for struggling mankind. He made it possible
for our souls to enter the Kingdom of heaven while still living the life in the flesh, enjoying
righteousness, peace, and joy. He revealed that we are the sons and daughters of the heavenly Father.
Jesus said, "peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." The righteousness, peace and joy that Jesus
gives is spiritual. It is eternal and therefore changes not. It is clear that spiritual joy is not dependent
on what is going on in our outer lives. The fallacy of using emotions to indicate the experience of this
joy is that the joy of emotions follow the emotions and the emotions follow the ups and down of
material life. Thus when emotions take a turn for the worse so does emotional joy. It vanishes in the
face of trials and tribulations but not spiritual joy, which always remains within the soul.
Jesus said, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’’s
commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain
in you, and that your joy might be full." Even though we experience outward sorrow, we experience
inner joy. How can we better appreciate this so that when we experience the tribulations of mortal
existence we can truly say with our faith that we are experiencing spiritual joy? Let us use a material
analogy to help us grasp the meaning of what our souls are experiencing or can experience.
An electric motor is a marvelous thing. It has been a marvelous time saver for humanity, for it allows
a machine to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. The motor is an ingenious device, and it
works because of the property of an electrical current that creates an electromagnetic field. If you take
a metal cylinder and copper wire, and wind this wire around the cylinder in such a way that each coil
of wire is approximately 90 degrees from each other, you will create an electromagnetic field
that spins. If you inject a metal rotor device into this cylinder, this device will spin. All that remains
is to connect this rotor to a wheel and you have converted electrical energy into mechanical energy.
By contrast, if you turn the rotor, say, by falling water, then you create a generator, a device that will
generate electricity. Electricity will flow through the coils of wire, changing mechanical energy into
Sometimes though, when the motor has been idle for a long time and maintenance has not been done
on the machine or the machine has not been protected, rust will set in and override the effects of the
spinning electromagnetic field. Thus the rotor will not spin and no useful work can be accomplished.
To restore this motor back to service, the motor has to be opened, and the wiring has to be rewired.
The rotor has to be cleaned, and the whole assembly has to be lubricated so that friction will not
destroy the motor.
"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of
God." This is divine sonship. This divine sonship when accepted by faith by the human mind arouses
the soul from its embryonic slumber and allows it to experience the same divine spiritual reality that
Jesus experienced when he was in human form. This born-again experience allows the soul to
experience the love of the heavenly Father, to experience his truth, beauty, and goodness and the
exquisite spiritual joy of loving service. The soul of man becomes born again, conscious. This is
analogous to the motor that became rusty from disuse and inadequate maintenance and had to be
rewired and cleaned out so that the rotor would freely turn. In like manner, the soul must be pried
away from the animal nature so that it can, as it were, move around freely. Once the soul, the son of
God, is pried loose from its material moorings, it becomes liberated and is now free to experience
divine values, while such a liberated mind can now experience the divine meanings of such a
magnificent experience. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
And now we are in a position to explain how spiritual joy is manifested to the mind. The intellectual
meaning of this joy is the realization of accepting divine sonship and meditating on the meanings
of such an incomparable truth. But the value of spiritual joy itself is experienced within the soul.
From the mind’’s perspective, spiritual joy can be understood similar to this analogy: A person
knows that at the end of journey that he will receive a valuable reward. Let’’s say for example a
person is in school studying for a difficult career. The process is trying and often emotionally
upsetting, but the person knows that the final achievement of his goal will be worth every bit to
achieve his goal. Therefore, he experiences a certain amount of peace in his mind, a certain amount
of satisfaction, and a willingness to endure whatever must be endured to win the prize. "The night
might be dark, but joy comes in the morning." So although materially we may suffer, the inward
knowledge and understanding that he/she is a son of God fills his mind with the meanings of hope
From the soul’’s perspective, the experience of spiritual joy imparts peace, comfort, and assurance.
When the soul realizes that it is indestructible and nothing can harm it, all fear is removed and is
replaced by an unconquerable feeling of being loved by an all powerful and all merciful loving
Father. When we reflect on Jesus’’ demeanor as he was led to his death, we view the nature of this
spiritual joy. Spiritual joy is associated with great outward calmness and almost perfect emotional
poise. Despair will never enter a soul that is experiencing spiritual joy; never will hopelessness or
any other negative value enter it. Though the human/material self may be doomed, the soul still
retains hope and joy. It knows positively that it cannot be harmed. As Jesus said, "Fear not them
which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul."
This spiritual joy imparts a certain stability to the character of the soul, a tranquility of spirit that
passes all understanding. And this is best seen and appreciated during adversity, where it can easily
be distinguished from the material peace and joy that vanishes in the face of material turmoil and
uncertainty. The activated, born-again soul does not worry itself over things it has no control over;
it does not lose its composure of quiet suffering and its dignity of calm when material values are
jeopardized or lost.
The soul knows that nothing of spiritual value is lost. It displays none of the despair that is associated
with an irretrievable loss. And the attitude of all such faith trusting souls in the dreadful arms of
adversity is that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." As Jesus said
when he was facing the horrible death of crucifixion: "A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow,
because her hour is come: But as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the
anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. Ye now therefore have sor
row: but I will see you
again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you."
This concludes today's message on understanding the nature of spiritual joy. 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