…rejoice that your names are written in heaven. – Luke 10:20
The reason that joy is a fruit of the Spirit is because the Spirit always brings us back to Jesus. When Jesus was comforting His disciples, He told them that after His departure, the Holy Spirit would come. He said, “He (the Spirit) will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14). The Holy Spirit’s primary purpose is to reveal, to shine the light on Jesus. Where Jesus is preached, where Jesus is praised, where Jesus is glorified, there the Spirit is at work. And since Christ is the ultimate source of joy, joy is an inevitable fruit of the Spirit.
We have a tendency to find joy in lesser things – our marriage, our work, sports and recreation, our children or grandchildren, etc. We might even find joy in “spiritual” things like our church, our teaching responsibilities or our serving as office-bearers. But even here Jesus sets us straight: Luke 10 tells us that Jesus sent out His followers on a mission and gave them extraordinary, miraculous powers. They went out into the villages and were able to heal diseases and cast out demons. When they returned to Jesus they were filled with joy because they were able to do all these things. But Jesus reoriented their focus and said, “Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that your pastor would faithfully preach Christ and Him crucified and give thanks that your name has been written in the Book of Life.