Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 8-My joy....your joy

John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.

Today we talk about joy. I am trying to understand that the joy referred to here does not necessarily mean happiness. One can be filled with joy even in the most dismal of circumstances. So what is joy and what brings it? This is not an easy concept for me.

According to Chambers the joy that Jesus had came from "the absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice of Himself to His Father, the joy of doing that which His Father sent Him to do."

From the verses preceding the verse above:
John 15:9-10 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love.

So joy comes from following the will of God. It sounds simple on paper, but actually living and doing the will of God on a daily basis is hard work.

I dug a little further than Chambers and found this gold nugget:
"Happiness is a consequence of good things happening around us; it is superficial. But Joy comes from inside, from knowing that God has not forsaken us and that He does indeed love us. That Joy can come from no one but the Holy Spirit." Ruth Senter

That brings a little more light on what Jesus means by joy. I guess I can understand this when I think about my father dying last year. I certainly was not happy about it, but there was a supernatural peace and joy about it. It was God's plan that my father's life on earth was at the end. I can submit to His will in this and find joy in knowing and trusting Him about that.

Too often I am looking for happiness in this life. What's in it for me? That's wrong! I need to look to Jesus for His joy. What does He want me to do? What's in it for Him?

Photo: My laughing daughter.

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