“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11
“These things” Jesus is referring to are the reminders He had just given His followers about abiding in Him. About being the branch fully connected and dependent on the vine, joined in relationship and nourishment. About obeying His commands and soaking in HIS love.
THESE THINGS Jesus tells us SO THAT His joy may be in us; that our joy may be FULL. The abiding, connecting, depending, obeying…THESE THINGS lead to JOY. A lasting and fulfilling joy not found in striving, achievements, status, or circumstances.
Pastor Jack Wellman describes joy this way: “Joy isn’t like happiness which is based upon happenings or whether things are going well or not. No, joy remains even amidst the suffering. Joy is an emotion that is acquired by the anticipation, acquisition or even the expectation of something great or wonderful.”
Rick Warren adds, “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”
This life is not easy, that is for sure. But in this passage, Jesus wants us to know that there is GREAT JOY to be had. Jesus wants us to be FULL OF JOY, and the way we have this joy is by truly KNOWING and BEING WITH Him.
Abiding in God, loving HIm, trusting Him, obeying Him, and bearing fruit in His kingdom isn’t about adding more checkmarks to a list, but to experience true joy…something our hearts deeply desire.
Questions: Have you found joy in knowing Jesus? How can your life be full of joy even as things are hard and heavy around you?