In Acts 13:52, we read that “the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” In that passage Paul, Barnabas, and the church were being persecuted, but in spite of this, they were continually filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. Why were they so full of joy and the Holy Spirit? There are two things that stand out. First, the phrase “word of the Lord” is used three times. (See Acts 13:44, 48, 49.) The word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region, and people were rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord. God’s word rejoices the heart. (Ps 19:8) When we feed on God’s word, it produces a joy and delight in our heart. (Jer 15:16) As we have just begun a new year, have you started feasting on God’s word? Are you rejoicing in His word? Let me encourage you to feed on the word of the Lord every day.
The second thing that we see in this passage is that salvation was coming to the Gentiles. Luke records that “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” When the gospel is being preached, and people are coming to Christ, there is great joy. We get filled with the Holy Spirit in many ways. Prayer and worship are two of the primary ways. But, personally, I have experienced powerful fillings of the Holy Spirit and manifestations of the Holy Spirit when I share the gospel with others. Have you shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel? Are you praying and looking for opportunities to share the word of the Lord with others? May it be said of you and I this year that we are continually being filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.