[CF Devotionals] 2009-11-04 - The Way of Joy

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

Here is a thought…We have not fully grasped what it is to be a Christian, if we do not have joy. Is it true? I think it is. Joy is part of being a Christian, but how much of our lives seem but a drudgery? Maybe we need to be better students, even readers, of God’s Word, if we lack a regular, consistent life of joy. Notice what Jesus says here, “These things I have spoken to you…” I submit that if you are a diligent student of God’s Word, then you will find that you have reason enough to rejoice, and you will have joy amidst your various circumstances. If we are only “sometimes” in God’s Word, we may only have “sometimes” of joy. The Christian should have regular joy, and I think one inference we can draw from this verse is that as we are in God’s Word, so also will we have joy – and really, in that proportion.

Let us observe also that Jesus is talking first about His joy being in us. What is the joy that we have? It is His own joy. It is the joy of Christ that He gives to His people. This has to be the best joy we could ever seek or desire. One of the joys of Christ is that the Father loves Him. We see this in many places, and John 3:35, 5:20, and 10:17 are a few, but what does this mean? A great part of Christ’s joy is that the Father loves Him, and Christ gives us His joy. This tells us that the everlasting Father loves the follower of Christ. God loves you. That’s the punchline. The joy that Christ gives, at least partially, is that the everlasting Father loves us. The ruler of the universe cares for you. If this does not fill you with joy and give you delight, then you simply don’t know Christ’s love, or don’t understand. His love is everlasting and infinite. It is beyond measure.

This leaves us to a last consideration. The joy that Christ gives us is a full joy. If our joy is full, what does that mean? It means (1) there is no more room for more joy. We cannot find joy in the things of the world, because we are full of the joy given us in Christ. It also means (2) there is no room for sorrow. If we are full of joy, then how can we make room for sadness? Let us draw near to the Lord this day, and He will fill us with joy. There is a depth that real joy knows, when fellowship with Christ is profound. It can’t really be put into words, but if you have known it, then you know what I am driving at. We can’t always have these “mountaintop” experiences, but we can know them, and we can strive to be often reaching the peaks and heights of communion with Christ. It is a solemn thing to go deep with Jesus. The beloved of the Lord seek these times. All to often we live in the valley of the world, but Christ gives true joy to His servants – full joy – and it is our wisdom to seek “the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” Romans 11:33.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] GodRulesTB@aol.com