The measure of spiritual maturity
In this I rejoice, and will rejoice still.
The spiritual maturity of a believer can be measured by what can take away their joy. Joy is a fruit of a Spirit-led life (Gal. 5:22). We should always rejoice (Phil. 4: 4; 1 Thes. 5:16). In all circumstances the Holy Spirit produces joy, so there should be no time when we are not rejoicing in some way.
Change, confusion, trials, attacks, unfulfilled desires, conflict, and strained relationships can throw us off balance and rob us of joy if we’re not careful. Then we must cry like the psalmist: “Give me the joy of your salvation” (Ps. 51:12).
Jesus said “In the world you will have trouble” (John 16:33), and the Apostle James said “Rejoice when you find yourselves in various trials” (James 1: 2). God has his purpose in our afflictions, but he never takes away our joy. In order to maintain our joy, we must take God’s perspective on our trials. When we surrender to the work of his Spirit in our lives, we will not be overwhelmed by our difficulties.