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This word is so strong that it leaves no room for misunderstanding regarding the intensity of the afflictions the Thessalonians faced.A The wordA thlipsis conveys the idea of a heavy-pressure situation. One scholar says it was first used to describe the specific act of tying a victim with a rope, laying him on his back, and then placingA a huge boulder on top of him until his body was crushed. Happiness is based on circumstantial pleasure, merriment, hilarity, exuberance, excitement, or something that causes one to feel hopeful or to be in high spirits.
These fleeting emotions of happiness, although very pleasurable at the moment, usually go just as quickly as they came. All it takes is one piece of bad news, a sour look from a fellow employee, a harsh word from a spouse, or an electric bill that is larger than what was anticipated a€” and that emotion of happiness can disappear right before a persona€™s eyes! This is important to note, for it tells us categorically that chara (a€?joya€?) is produced by the charisA (a€?gracea€?) of God. Rather, true a€?joya€? is divine in origin, a fruit of the Spirit that is manifested particularly in hard times. Someone may feel happiness, merriment, hilarity, exuberance, excitement, or a€?high spirits,a€? but all of these are fleeting emotions. In fact, the Greek strongly implies that their supernatural joy was due to the Holy Spirit working inside them. And you did it even in the midst of mind-boggling sufferings a€” a level of stress and intensity that would be suffocating and crushing for most people.
But while you were going through all these hardships and hassles, you were simultaneously experiencing thesupreme ecstasy and joy of the Holy Spirit.a€?A The best that the lost world has to offer is a temporary happiness. But when the seed of God has been placed inside your human spirit, that divine seed produces a a€?joya€? that isna€™t based on outward events or circumstances.


In fact, when times get very challenging, the supernatural life of God rises up inside you to defy that devilish pressure! Paul listed this supernatural a€?peacea€? in Galatians 5:22 when he wroteA about the fruit of the Spirit. In fact, the storm wasA so severe that Acts 27:14 and 15 says, a€?But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. He continues to say it was a a€?tempestuouswinda€? a€” which is the Greek wordA tuphonikos, a compound of the words tuphos and nikos. One scholar notes that it mustA have felt as if a monster had seized the ship and was tearing it to pieces. The situation was so completelyA out of the sailorsa€™ control that they a€?let her drive.a€? In other words, they chose to let the stormA take them where it wanted rather than try to fight the winds that could not be conquered. The ship had sustained a substantial amount of damage because of the fierce winds alreadyA endured on this trip.
Before work on the ship could commence, the ship first had to be securely tied in one spot. The fact that these professional sailors feared these sandbars, which were located four hundred miles south ofA their location at the island of Clauda, tells us that the winds they were fighting were strong enoughA to take them that far off their navigational course. The worda€?tempesta€? is the Greek wordA cheimadzoamai, which is the Greek word for a storm. Paul had heard from the Lord, which caused supernatural peace to rise up on the inside of him. His peace brought strength to everyone on that ship!A As noted earlier, this kind of a€?peacea€? is produced by the Holy Spirit.


Now think back on the meaning of the word eirene (a€?peacea€?) in light of Paula€™s experience on that ship. Remember, this word expresses the idea ofA wholeness, completeness, or tranquility in the soul that is unaffected by outward circumstances or pressures.
When a person is dominated byA eirene (a€?peacea€?), he has a calm, inner stability that results in the ability to conduct himself peacefully, even though circumstances normally would be very nerve-racking, traumatic, or upsetting. Fear and anxiety have no placeA in my life; neither am I ruled by the temporary, fleeting emotions of happiness.
Peace rules my emotions, helping me to maintain stabilityA and eradicate emotional chaos from my life and surroundings.
Can you think of a time in your life when you should have been very upset about something, but a supernatural joy came rising up out of your spirit that sustained you during that hard time?A 2.
Can you also recollect a moment when the peace of God replaced the fear and worry that normally would have conquered you? What do you think would have happened that day if you hadna€™t been ruled by this supernatural peace?A 3. Do you think you have anything to do with the fruits of joy and peace operating in your life?



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