Joy, Joy, Joy

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15: 11

Happiness is dependent in large part on externals. Joy is the surprising by-product of an intimate relationship with Jesus.

The deeper the relationship with Jesus, the fuller the joy. Conversely, when the joy runs out the relationship has been allowed to run down. Is your joy brimful? Our adversities give occasion for joy to bloom as a lovely flower in a sidewalk crack.

Even persecution for Jesus’ sake enhances our joy. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5: 11)

As the branch can’t keep from producing what the vine provides, so we will inevitably reveal the qualities of Jesus that flow through us. 

If you are a Christian and joy is absent from your life, there is a reason.  It is simply that you have become more circumstance-centered than Christ-centered.

Disobedience to Jesus drains life of its joy. David learned this bitter lesson and serves as an example. When he repented of his sin, he cried to God, “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation.” (Psalms 51: 12)  When he greedily sought happiness, he lost his joy.

In Psalm 51:2 he prayed for cleansing and in verse 7 he pleaded for purification. Then he prayed for the joy which follows such cleansing. (Vss. 8 & 12)  Confessing consequences in cleansing which gave occasion for joy.

David in fellowship with the Lord declared, “In Your presence is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11)

The prophet Jeremiah stood and looked over the desolation of Jerusalem resulting from God’s judgment on the sins of His people. His lament was “The joy of our heart is ceased….” (Lamentations 5: 15).  A judgment heavier than the desolation of the city was the departure of joy from the people resulting from sin in their lives. One of God’s judgments on His people was to replace the joyful note of the singer with the doleful dirge of the mourners.

Later Jeremiah recorded a source of renewed joy: “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight….” (Jeremiah 15:16) The reference to eating the word of the Lord means to assimilate and digest it.

A life in Jesus is a life of joy. A religion that wears grave clothes begs to be buried, and the sooner the funeral the better. 

The basis of our joy is expressed by Jesus in John 15: 4 and again in verse 7. “Abide in me…” Abiding and obeying are the essentials for joy.

Joy is Jesus’ antidote for emptiness, hollowness, and loneliness. This joy is a wonderful by-product of fellowship with Jesus. Make this day, and every day a day of fellowship with the Lord.