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How to Have Fullness of Joy

John 15:11

Perhaps you have heard this story or even can relate to it, but if not …it certain describes our discussion of joy.

There was a woman who lost her car keys and went tearing through her house looking everywhere for her keys. She opened every drawer and looked under every pile. Finally, she looked in her purse, and there they were! Do you know why she didn’t find them at first? She was looking in the wrong place.

I don’t know a lot about you, but I know one thing about you: you want joy in your life. Don’t deny it. You do! You want joy in your life. We all do.

But the reason so many people don’t have joy is that they are looking for joy in the wrong place. Joy is not a nicety in the Christian life; it is an absolute necessity. A Christian without joy is a contradiction in terms. If you are right with God, you ought to have a continual, conspicuous, contagious joy. I want us to consider how to have fullness of joy.

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the amount of joy you have in your life right now?
  1. Where are some places you have looked for joy?
  1. If you could change one thing in your life in order to find joy, what do you think it would be?

Why Is Joy Important?

Joy is important in winning the lost to Jesus Christ. As Christians, the joy of the Lord is our best advertisement. If you’re not a joyful Christian, you’re not an effective soul winner. If you’re going around with a Bible under one arm and a tombstone under the other, why would anyone want to be like you?

  1. Read Psalm 51:12-13. What two reasons does King David give for asking God to restore his joy?
  1. Have you ever known a Christian who was full of joy? How did you know they were full of joy?
  1. How did their joy make you feel?
  1. Do others see the joy of the Lord in your life?

Joy is essential in bearing life’s burdens.

  1. We all have burdens, but we can choose to respond in despair or in joy. How is it possible to find joy in the midst of your difficulties?

We need joy in order to have the strength to live the Christian life.

  1. What does Nehemiah 8:10 say the joy of the Lord is?

The Joy of Jesus

Jesus tells us in John 15:11 that we are not to have just any joy, but we are to have a particular joy. We are to have His joy. What is the joy of Jesus?

It is abounding joy. He says, “…that your joy might be full.” The only way we can rejoice is to rejoice in Jesus. And the joy of Jesus is not half-hearted joy, not maybe-so joy, but joy that is abounding and supernatural.

  1. What do the following verses say about Jesus’ joy?

It is abiding joy. Jesus says, “…that My joy might remain in you….” It’s not joy that comes and goes. It is joy in the good times, the bad times, the nighttime, the daytime, the rainy day, and sunny day. We’re to rejoice in the Lord always. And Jesus didn’t say these words lightly. He was facing a dark time when He instructed us to have His joy.

  1. Look a few chapters over in John 18. What was Jesus facing as He taught us about having joy?
  1. Read the following verses that describe the abiding nature of the joy of Jesus. Fill in the blanks (taken from the KJV).
    • It is steadfast in sorrow. “…but your _________ shall be turned into _____. (John 16:20)
    • It is triumphant in tribulation. “I am ___________ ____________ in all our tribulation…” (2 Corinthians 7:4)
    • It is lasting in losses. “…and took ___________ the __________ of your goods…” (Hebrews 10:34)
    • It is abundant in affliction. “…having received the word in much ___________, with _______ of the Holy Ghost.” (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
  1. What if you went home and found everything you owned was gone – would your joy be gone as well or would it last?

Finally, it is abundant joy. There is a lot of it. “…that your joy might be full.”

  1. How deep does your joy go? Think about what it takes to rob you of your joy and circle the description of how deep your joy runs.
    • It’s only on the surface. Any little thing changes my attitude.
    • I can handle a few setbacks but not too many.
    • Deep and full. When things go wrong, I may feel sad for a time, but there is an underlying joy that breaks through shortly. 

How to Have Joy

So, we see what joy is and why we need it. But you may still be asking, “How can I have this joy?” I’m glad you asked that question.

In verse eleven, Jesus says, “These things have I spoken unto you….”, so it only makes sense to see what He has just spoken. There, we will find a recipe for joy.

  1. We’re studying John 15:11, so let’s look back to John 15:1-10. In these verses what does Jesus refer to Himself as?
  1. What does He compare us to?

Jesus speaks of Himself as a vine and of us as branches.

  1. What does He tell us, as branches, to do in verse four?
  1. What do you think it means to abide?

First of all, it means to surrender. According to John 15:5 what can the branch accomplish without the vine?

  1. What issues do you have in your life that keeps you from fully surrendering to Jesus?
    • Family
    • Job
    • Hobbies
    • Talents
    • Friends
    • Church activities

Abiding also means dependence. The joy of Jesus is given when you depend upon the Lord.
John 15:5b says, “…without Me you can do nothing.” But God cannot be everything until you become nothing.

  1. What’s keeping you from letting God be everything in your life?

Abiding also means resting. Look at verse 9, “continue ye in My love.” That means to rest in His love.

    • What does the branch do when it needs water?
    • What does the branch do in order to produce buds in the spring?
    • What does the branch do in order to bring forth fruit for harvest?

The branch does nothing; it depends fully on the vine for its support. The vine sends down its roots for water and nutrients. Again, the branch does nothing.

  1. How would your life be different if you rested and let the Vine do all of the work and all of the worrying?
  1. Read Galatians 5:22. Notice the word joy. It is a fruit of the Spirit. Who will produce fruit in your life? the branch or the Vine?

Abiding means obedience.

  1. Read John 15:10. What’s the condition given here? “If you ____________ ____  __________, ye shall abide in My love ...”

Last of all, abiding means rejoicing. Jesus said in Luke 10:20, “Rejoice that your name is written in heaven.”

  1. Is your name written in heaven?

All of this will do you absolutely no good unless your name is written in heaven. But if it is, come what may, you are heaven born and heaven bound. And that’s cause to rejoice. If you would like to know how to know for sure that you are on your way to heaven, learn how you can know Jesus.

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