November 14, 2012
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11).
Did you know that a Christian without joy is a contradiction in terms? If you are right with God, you ought to have joy in your life! But there are many Christians who live as if they have lost their joy.
One of the most important reasons having joy is important is because it can help us win the lost to Jesus. You can’t go around with a Bible under one arm and a tombstone under the other saying, “Don’t you want to be like I am?” Our best advertisement is the joy of the Lord.
You also need joy in order to have the strength to live the Christian life. God said to Nehemiah when he was building the walls around Jerusalem and the people were getting tired, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). You can’t live the Christian life without joy.
Joy is also essential in order to bear life’s burdens. We all have heartaches and difficulties, but joy is the lubricant of life. The joy of the Lord will remove the burdens from your heart.
We’re not just to have joy like His; we are to have His joy. What was this joy Jesus had and wanted us to have?
He said, “…that your joy might be full.” His joy was not half-hearted joy, but it was a joy that was abounding and supernatural.
Abounding speaks of the quality of joy, and abundant speaks of the amount of joy. Even through His tears and even through His agony, His was an abundant joy.
He said, “… that My joy might remain in you …” It was not joy that came and went. Jesus taught us this lesson about joy as He faced dark Calvary. We too are to have joy regardless of the circumstances. We’re to rejoice in the Lord always.
Jesus Himself tells us how to have this kind of joy. In verse 11, He said, “These things I have spoken to you …,” so let’s see what He has just spoken. There, we will find the recipe for joy.
Jesus spoke of Himself as a Vine and we are His branches. He tells us that the branch is to abide in the vine, and then there will be joy. Just what does it mean to abide?
Without genuine joy, your life is meaningless. And joy is found only in Jesus; not joy like His, but the supernatural joy of Jesus Christ. Do you have the fullness of joy? Abide in Him.