“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
(John 15:11 NKJV)
In my last blog post I wrote about how Jesus offers us His peace and we let ourselves have a troubled heart. If you have not read it, please click here to do so if you like. Today I will take this subject a bit further because He not only wants us to have His peace, but His joy. In these days many are suffering and lacking His joy. Experiencing His joy seem unlikely especially during times of suffering. However, even in our suffering, peace and joy is available to us. A perfect example of this would be the Apostle Paul who wrote the book of joy (Philippians) from prison. You may find this interesting; I did a quick key work search using the New King James Version for the words joy and peace just in the Book of John. Joy came up 9 times and peace another 3 times. In the whole Bible joy 188 times and peace 384 times. So Jesus definitely wants peace and joy for His followers. I believe this to be important to Him.
First off, what His peace and joy is not. Get saved, say a prayer and live happily ever after. Now we have nothing but smooth sailing here forward. Actually just the opposite is true, Jesus promises tribulation. "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Believers will get sick and loved ones will die. In much of the world, believing in Jesus can cost you your life. Persecution of God’s children has been quite common since the beginning of time.
At the top of this post I started off quoting John 15:11. Notice what Jesus said here. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” What things is Jesus talking about? Let’s take a look. At the beginning of the chapter He said something very critical we must not overlook.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:1-5)
First thing to notice is Jesus is the true vine, His Father is the vinedresser and we are the branches. Here lay’s the first key to having His peace and joy. When you look at a vine you will notice the branches are always attached to the vine. If it is a bright and sunny day, the branch is attached to the vine. When the worst of storms arises, the branch is attached to the vine. Likewise for us, when everything is well, we need to be abiding in the Lord. When the storms arise we are already there abiding in the Lord. Our source of joy is not in the things of this world but God. Our joy is not because we are experiencing smooth sailing in life, but we are rejoicing because we are in the presence of the Lord.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
Stay tuned, the Lord willing, I plan to write more on this subject.