100-Day Identity Makeover: Day 11
You Are the Possessor of Jesus’ Joy (John 15:11)
Joy is an amazing evidence of connection with Jesus, the True Vine. The sap flowing from Him into the lives of believers is the essence of life. Child of God, you are the possessor of Jesus’ joy, and like a bucket full of water, His joy splashes out and spills over as you move in step with the Spirit.
Understand the difference between joy and happiness: joy is ongoing, an undercurrent that remains in spite of what is happening around you; happiness is circumstantial. Joy is present even when the situation is less than ideal. You can have joy at all times because the Spirit of God is the source, and He produces the fruit of joy within you, because the Spirit resides in those who belong to God.
Jesus knew the secret of keeping the joy juice flowing: “I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love” (John 15:10). In fact, the Lord said these words so that you would follow His example by remaining in His love and obeying His commands; doing so leads to your having His joy and your joy being complete, He said (See John 15:11).
Jesus modeled obedience to the Father, and knows that if we do the same, we will have complete joy. Let’s investigate His obedience further, so that we may aim for His standard of faithfulness. Jesus said, “The Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does… I do nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught Me” (John 5:19, 8:28). The Lord modeled for us obedience to what the Father taught and showed Him. Obviously, Jesus incorporated worship in the routine of life- times when He stilled Himself to be taught by the Father and to receive revelation from heaven.
Consider the highest call to obedience that Jesus fulfilled and notice the attachment of joy to it. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2). Imagine- Jesus had joy before Him as He gave Himself willingly for the payment of the sins of humanity. The Son of God knew that He was making the only way possible for sinful man to be restored to holy God, and that was a source of joy in spite of unfathomable suffering leading to death. If Jesus had joy set before Him as He obeyed the Father with His sacrifice of life, then you and I certainly can know the joy resulting from our obedience as the Holy Spirit empowers us.
The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Aren’t you thankful for the gift of salvation? It is totally unmerited; the Bible states that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Therefore, our response is that of thanksgiving and unwavering devotion to the Father in heaven. Among the many benefits of knowing God’s salvation is joy! In a time of repentance from sin, King David recorded his words declaring a desire to commune again with his God. “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12). The joy of salvation… if joy is fleeting in your life, revisit the fact that God saved you in His grace. Take time to reflect on what those words mean. Think about where you were heading, because I’m guessing you can see that the Lord not only brought you out of some stuff, but He spared you from even greater depths of destruction! He is your Deliverer, and as you reflect on His love demonstrated to you in Christ, that joy will bubble up and overflow!
Walk It Out Hear God’s Word and put it into practice (Luke 8:21).
Be prepared to give reason for your hope. Genuine joy attracts people who will want to investigate its source in your life.