JOY! A lot of people are looking for real JOY in life and never find it. People, even Christians, look for JOY in other people, things, professions, wealth, entertainment, and a multitude of other things but they never find real joy. Jesus said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete,” (John 15:11 NIV). Jesus wants us to have real joy in life; the kind of joy that only He can give us. In the first eight verses of John chapter fifteen Jesus reminds us that joy begins with a personal and continuing relationship with Him because only in that relationship can our life experience and manifest the inward and outward characteristics of God that bring real joy in all situations in life. Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love,” (John 15:9-10 NIV). Real love is found in Jesus Christ and the love found there brings joy and the ability to follow God’s situations in life regardless of what they are. Nothing in our life can accomplish the joy that Jesus can bring; not people, or wealth, or professions, or any other thing.
When Jesus said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete,” (John 15:11 NIV) Jesus was facing death on the cross in just a few hours and yet His life was full of joy and He wanted His disciples to have a life of complete joy; and that joy could only come out of people who were fully committed to God and following God and full of the love that only Jesus could give. JOY! When a person is a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, in love with God, obedient to God, and loving others they will experience a life of joy in spite of all circumstances; even circumstances that may lead to deprivation and death. Christians in many parts of the world today give us examples of what real joy is in their walk through the circumstances of living under governments who are committed to eliminating or harming Christians. So if we want real JOY let us turn to Jesus and establish a firm relationship with Him and look to Him to bring us the joy we seek every day of our lives.