“I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”
The closer our passions and desires mirror the passions and desires of Jesus, the happier we will be. On the night that Jesus was betrayed, He spent a great deal of time instructing and guiding His disciples. He warned them that He would die. He told them He was leaving them and that He would return for them. He told them that the world would reject them. He reminded than that He would suffer. Yet in the midst of all of this, He told them that they could have a joy that was so comprehensive that it could be described as complete. In other words, there was a way for them to have a joy that was pervasive, a joy that impacted every sphere of their existence. How would they achieve such joy? By abiding in Him, by obeying Him and by keeping His commandments.
There are so many competing priorities in our lives and so many demands upon our hearts and our time. It is only as we give Jesus the central place that He demands that we find true and lasting joy.
We used to sing a song in the church where I became a Christian that reminded us that true worship flowed from finding the joy of reaching God’s heart and allowing our will to become enthralled with His love. That’s a lovely old word, isn’t it, enthralled? May God allow us once again to be enthralled by Jesus! The secret to lasting joy is to be so caught up with Him that what He wants becomes what brings us joy.
(C) Malcolm J. Duncan