In Joy

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11. What things did Jesus speak? The prior verses detail abiding in Christ. That if we remain in Christ we will bear much fruit, but if not then we will be cast out as a withered branch. If we abide in Christ we will ask what we desire and it shall be done for us. This is because if we are abiding in Christ we will not be asking amiss or for selfish reasons. These are the things which Jesus spoke. Of abiding, remaining, producing fruit, asking and receiving, and His love for us. These things were spoken in order that the joy of Christ will remain in us and that it may be full. We are Christ’s and His joy is ours.

The Greek word used here for joy is chara. It carries the meaning of cheerfulness, calm delight, and gladness of heart. This joy is to remain or stay within us. It is to be possessed by us and to continue. It is not something that is meant to go away and return only on occasion. This joy is to remain and be full. The word for full in Greek is pleroo. This word carries the meaning of making replete, cramming full, or being fully satisfied. It means that we are fully or abundantly filled with joy. Our “joy cup” is not to be just partially filled, but crammed full.

How many of us as followers of Christ experience that reality of a continual joy in abundance? How do we get it if we do not have it? To find the answer we must again look to the Scripture in John 15. If we consider the things spoken of prior to verse 11, we find things that would bring us joy. Staying in Christ, bearing much fruit, and asking and receiving what we ask for. Not to mention the love with which He loves us with.

Jesus tells us that He is the vine and the Father in the vinedresser. He carries the responsibility for pruning, taking away branches, bringing forth fruit, hearing and answering our prayers, and loving us. We are told to remain in Christ, stay in His word, allow His words to abide in us, and keep His commands. As we remain in Him, we find joy. In His Presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). If we continue to meet with Him consistently, we will find we have more joy. As we consider all that He has done, it brings us joy. As our hearts are filled with gratitude for where He has brought us from and into, we are joyful. Our joy becomes fuller the more we consider Him and what He has done.

Our joy decreases as we are focused on self, circumstances, and things not of God. If we find our “joy cup” a little empty, we may want to examine what we have been considering. Where have our thoughts been? Perhaps we need to read through John 15 again and take some time to meditate on the words of Christ. Perhaps we need to recall or make a list of the things God has shown us, taught us, or the ways He has come through in the past. Perhaps we just need to have a praise session where we speak aloud and thank God for the things He has done. As we get our focus right, allow the words of Christ to dwell in us again, and keep our thoughts on the eternal…we should find that we enter back into joy. As we remain in Christ, we remain in joy.

 

Tina Wanamaker