Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Joy in the Presence of the Lord

“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.

Photo Credit


  1. Focus on Him in all things. Have faith, believe. Let not your heart be troubled. Amen.

  2. Hi Ken,

    What a beautiful, true post!
    Have you experienced this Joy of the Lord? The belly shaking, body falling, over whelming Joy? I yearn for this experience and I know the more I seek His face the more He will give.

    If we do not remain in the center of His love then He will cut us off. I know so many people that claim Christianity but do not remain in His will and then I know quite a few people who claim Christianity and keep falling down flat on their faces but they are still aiming for the center of His will. My heart aches for the first group for no matter how you try to tell them to turn towards Him they don't. They think their ways are correct.

    I am looking forward to reading your next post!


  3. Ken, I love what you said about the vine. When the sun is shining, the branch is attached to the vine. When the storm comes, the branch is still attached. That is the key, isn't it? We must remain attached to Jesus.

  4. I'm in agreement with you and I appreciated your comment on my post. As much as I'd like to think I have peace, I do find myself getting angry with rising prices and shrinking paycheck! I have to pray, "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief!"

  5. You quoted from Psalm 16 which is my all time favorite psalm.

    Yes, I too believe in choosing joy as a lifetime attitude and disposition. It builds and strengthens our character when we choose joy.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog.


  6. How often we try to find joy in the things of this world, but they are temporary and NOT satisfying-only He is that!

  7. Wonderful Ken, Peace and Joy....I have always thought, if I changed my middle name, I would have made it Joy. I read your words, and tried to breath it in, I need it, as we all do in this busy fast world. I bought a childrens story book of the vine and the branches and keep it at my home to read to my grandchildren when they come. Its been wonderfully illustrated in word and picture...
    The gardener comes and says to the branch, "this is not a good place where you are, I am going to cut you off and transplant you in a better place. The branch is scared of whats to come. The gardener cuts and takes the branch far away. There in a beautiful spot He binds the branch to a wonderful healthy tree, where the branch has other wonderful branches next to it. It grows and thrives in its new environment.... there is more to it than I am writing here, but it gives such a description of the need to be planted in the Lord and grow in Him..God Bless your day and I pray we all remain close to the vine..

  8. Thank you Ken for another beautiful post, reminding us everything we need comes from God not from this world.

    Even in our sufferings it is possible to find peace and joy that can come only from the Lord...His peace and joy are like no other!

    God Bless...


  9. Hi Ken -

    This is such an encouraging piece.
    Thank you.

    You expressed, "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)"

    Bunches of Amens - Ken - bunches!

  10. I wish to thank everyone for all your comments. I appreciate them very much.

    @Clint- Yes focus on Him indeed!

    @Child of God- I too know many people who do not remain in His will and live life as they wish, how sad. I long for my joy in the Lord to continue growing.

    @Lisa- Yes it is truly the key indeed.

    @Karen- I think that is a prayer we all need to say from time to time. Oh those rising prices and shrinking paychecks sure can test us huh!

    @Crown of Beauty- I do not know why we choose we do not choose His peace and joy more. We must make this choice everyday or the enemy will come to make us miserable any chance he gets.

    @Allison- Yes, the joy in the things not of God is very temporary and it just does not satisfy. Yet we still look for it there.

    @Crystal Mary- What a wonderful illustration you shared from the childrens book.

    @Lisa- Yes it is very possible to find peace and joy in our times of suffering. I know firsthand from experience. But we must be holding onto the Lord.

    @lioneagle- I am glad the Lord encouraged you through my post. Thank you Jesus for your joy.

    May the Lord bless each and every one of you,

  11. Great post, Ken. I love that no matter how stressed or frazzled I feel, I still feel the joy of the Lord along with it!! :)

  12. Happiness is dependant upon our circumstance; joy is dependant upon our position.

    We are "in Christ;" we must never see ourselves apart from Him. The enemy of our faith constantly seeks to get our eyes on our circumstance. Yet, when we place our focus on Him once again, in light of who He is, our circumstances seem small (because they are to Him!). And we once again have joy!

  13. @Emily- It sure is amazing how he gives us joy.

    @Okie Preacher- The closer we are to Him and the more our eyes are on Him, the less we are troubled by the problems we face.

    Thank you for your comments and God bless you,

  14. Ken,

    I loved this - it brought me joy!!

    What particularly touched me was how you expanded the image of the Vine and the branches. How they are always attached - no matter what the "weather" is like. I don't know why I never quite thought of it like that.

    I am nothing without the source of my peace and joy. And unless I'm *rooted* in Him, I will surely wither away.

    Thanks, Ken, for another thought-provoking post!

    Hope you're having a wonder-full Palm Sunday!


  15. Thank you Sharon. I too hope you are having a wonderful Palm Sunday.

    God bless,


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