Scripture Reading:  John 15:9-11

“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you.  Abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”  (John 15:9-11)

Joy and happiness are not one and the same.  Happiness depends upon the circumstances we experience.  People make us happy when they do what we want or meet our expectations.  They make us happy when they make us feel good or do special things for us.  They make us unhappy when they hurt us, or disappoint us.  God never promised us happiness.  Happiness comes and goes depending on the circumstances.

Joy, on the other hand, is very different.  It is a deep, inward sense of well-being.  It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22).  We can experience joy regardless of the circumstances we are experiencing.  It comes when we delight in the beauty and glory of God, when we delight in God for who God is.  Joy comes when we are in His presence:  “In Your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).  Joy comes when we are deeply aware of the Lord’s love for us.  It comes when we abide in Christ.

When we are abiding in Christ’s love, Jesus blesses us with His joy.  He desires for His joy to be our joy.  When we experience His presence, we are filled with joy.  We find delights and pleasures that cannot be found anywhere else.

Let me say it again:  Joy comes when we delight in God for who He is, when we meditate upon His love, holiness, sovereignty, power, beauty and glory.  Jesus said:  “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you.  Abide in My love” (v. 9).  Here is the real secret of joy.  When we abide in and delight in the love of Christ, we experience the fullness of joy because His joy becomes our joy.  When we abide in Him and experience His presence in our lives, there are pleasures forevermore.

We lose our joy when we are not in deep fellowship with Jesus.  When we willfully chose to disobey Him, we withdraw from Him.  Our fellowship with Him suffers.  He never leaves us, but we may attempt to leave Him for a season because of our disobedience.  But when we repent and return to Him, His joy is restored and regardless of what we may face, we find delight in His presence and our joy becomes full again.

Lord Jesus, I know that You love me just as the Father loves you.  I desire to abide in Your love, and when I do I experience Your joy and thus my joy becomes full and rich.  When I am in Your presence and am delighting in You, there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.


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