Friday, September 19, 2014

Fullness of Joy

John 16:23-33

And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will not longer speak to you in figurative language, but in will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed hat I come forth from God. I come forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.

His disciples said to Him, "See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God."

Jesus answered them, Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 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.

I was listening to part of a recording of Pastor Terry Eddings of Harrison, AR, who preached at our church on happiness and joy. The main point of the part I heard was that we are always searching for things that make us happy.

We are never really fulfilled. Better house, better, car, better job. Nothing truly totally satisfies. But there is One who does. Jesus Christ. And when we receive Jesus He gives us His joy. That joy goes much deeper than happiness because it comes from Him. Joy to the world!

When we are in the midst of one of our trials of everyday life, if we have Jesus, we can still have a joy way deep inside and that joy gets us through because we know Jesus has not abandoned us even when others have failed or circumstances in our lives are far from pleasant. He is our constant. He is our joy and brings us fullness of His joy.

I'm amazed at how this message preached a couple days ago fit so well with where I am in the Book of John. He's teaching His disciples that no matter what, if they believe in Him and continue to do so, their joy cannot be removed.

Jesus continues to speak to His disciples before His arrest. For three years He's been showing them who He is, what He can do and what He came to do for all mankind. He's been grooming them, if you will, for the tasks that will lie ahead for them when He is gone.

He tells them to ask in His name anything and they will receive and their joy will be fulfilled. But you must understand what we ask is not for that bigger home or new car or a better paying job. We ask the things of God...and when we do, then our joy, which only comes from Him, will be fulfilled. True joy. Not temporary happiness which never seems to fulfill.

That joy comes from believing and knowing Jesus, trusting in Him in all things. It's believing He is the Son of God and that He came down from heaven to save a lost world, minister to the people of His time, to gather believers to spread the word about Him...ordinary people, I might add. His legacy and His Gospel lives on.

Like these disciples, we are scattered. But because we are in Christ we are never alone even when we are alone! Jesus told us that our peace will come in knowing and believing in Him. He who gives us fullness of joy will also be our peace. I'm all for that.

Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms‬ ‭37‬:‭4, ‬‭‭16‬:‭11‬)

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