Scripture Reading: John 15:1-11
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)
Joy and happiness are not the same. Happiness is conditional — “You make me happy if…” It is conditional in that happiness comes when our expectations of others or circumstances are being met. I’m happy when you treat me like I want to be treated. I am happy when my work is free of problems.
Joy is very different. It is something that we can experience no matter what circumstances we are facing. Joy comes from our relationship with our Lord. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit — “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22,23). Joy is something that the Spirit produces deep inside of us. Jesus said — “If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture says, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John goes on to say — “Now this He said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive…” (John 7:37-39). The Spirit enables joy to flow out of our hearts.
The key to experiencing the joy of Christ is found in our Scripture reading from John 15. This is the familiar passage about the vine and the branches. Jesus wants us to have His joy — “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Notice that Jesus says — “that My joy may be IN YOU.” Remember that Joy is an inward fruit of the Spirit. The key to finding joy is to abide in Christ — “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (vs. 4,5).
We cannot have joy apart from Christ. Joy comes when we are in intimate fellowship with Jesus, when we abide in Him and He abides in us. Joy comes when we delight in Christ simply for who He is. As we reflect and meditate upon the beauty and glory of Christ and upon His attributes and character, we find great delight in Him. We drink from the river of His delights. Joy comes when we experience His presence and have fellowship with Him. As we do these things, the joy of Christ begins to fill us.
“You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is FULNESS OF JOY; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
Lord Jesus Christ, I delight in You. When I meditate upon your beauty and glory and upon Your attributes and character, my soul is filled with joy. When I come into Your presence, there is fullness of joy. My desire is to abide in You this day; for I know that when I abide in You, I can do whatever You desire. You want me to have Your joy regardless of any circumstances I will face this day. I come to You and drink of the water that You give me. May rivers of living water flow from my heart today. May I be filled with Your joy.
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