Joy in the Holy Ghost

I have just started an eight-week series on the Holy Spirit’s person and work. Tomorrow’s lesson is on the works of the flesh versus the fruit of the Spirit. In all the detail, I hope to communicate the following in class:

  • The fruit of the Spirit contributes to a life that not only survives but thrives and experiences God’s שָׁלוֹם/shalom (“peace,” well-being”).
  • When we move on to the gifts of the Spirit, I want to emphasize two related points:
    • The works of the flesh devalue and destroy, even when the gifts of the Spirit are in play in a congregation.
    • The fruit of the Spirit validates and regulates the gifts of the Spirit, enforcing their usefulness in all cases.

A Hymn on spiritual comfort and joy

My Soul doth magnify the Lord,
My Spirit doth rejoice
In God my Saviour and my God,
I hear his joyful Voice.

I need not go abroad for Joy
Who have a Feast at home;
My Sighs are turned into Songs,
The Comforter it come.

Down from Above the blessed Dove
Is come into my Breast,
To witness God’s eternal Love:
This is my heavenly Feast.

This makes me Abba, Father, cry,
With Confidence of Soul;
It makes me cry, My Lord, my God,
And that without controul.

There is a Stream which issues forth
From God’s eternal Throne,
And from the Lamb, a living Stream,
Clear as the Crystal Stone.

The Streams doth Water Paradise,
It makes the Angels sing:
One cordial Drop revives my Heart;
Hence all my Joys do spring.

Such Joys as are unspeakable,
And full of Glory too;
Such hidden Manna, hidden Pearls,
As Worldlings do not know.

Eye hath not seen, nor Ear hath heard,
From Fancy ’tis conceal’d,
What thou, Lord, hast laid up for thine,
And hast to me reveal’d.

I see thy Face, I hear thy Voice,
I taste thy sweetest Love;
My Soul doth Leap: but O for Wings,
The Wings of Noah’s Dove!

Then should I flee far hence away,
Leaving this World of Sin:
Then should my Lord put forth his Hand
And kindly take me in.

Then should my Soul with Angels feast
On Joys that always last:
Bless’d be my God, the God of Joy,
Who gives me here a Taste.

Samson Occom, A Choice Collection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Early American Imprints, 1639–1800; No. 13507 (New-London Conn.: Printed and sold by Timothy Green, a few rods west of the court-house, 1774), 27–28.

Author: Dale A. Brueggemann

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