Joy is a byproduct of the indwelling Holy Spirit’s work within me. Scripturally I’ve see that this joy molds and shapes my soul bringing soulful joy. It is also eternal as it began its effects upon me when I accepted Jesus as Lord of my life and will continue to work within me for all eternity giving me a source of joy that is eternal. Today I want to focus on joy that comes from the Lord, knowing Jesus, walking with him daily and belonging to Him. This type of joy emanates from Christ alone. The effects of this joy is complete. It fills me and last when earthly joys fade.
Jesus spoke of knowing God the Father, abiding in His love and keeping His commandments. He promised that walking in His love and practicing His ways would provide me with this type of joy. John 15:9-11. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” The prescription for having complete joy is to be faithful and obedient to Jesus’ Word and to stay in His love.
The Apostle Paul experienced this type of joy when he and Barnabas were preaching the good news of Jesus to the crowd in Pisidan Antioch. They spoke the truth about God and His love for all of them in sending Jesus. The Jewish leaders were jealous of Paul and Barnabas’ popularity and heaped abuses upon them. They got others to join them in persecuting Paul and Barnabas and got them expelled from that region. Paul and Barnabas never stopped speaking boldly about Christ depending upon His love and truth to sustain them. Acts 13:49-52 “They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Even though things got very difficult and scary, the disciples sought to abide in Christ, trust in Him and left filled with His joy and completeness in doing God’s work.
How can you and I abide in His love and experience this fulfilling joy? Jesus’ prescription for this joy is to stay focused upon Him, engage in things that will bring glory to God, get to know Him better by studying scripture- staying in the Word, commune with Him in prayer, fellowship with other believers and worship Him in spirit and truth. Living and abiding in Him each day will bring complete joy. No matter what is happening in the world around you or even in your own life you can still experience this joy. Christ’s joy is compete and will fulfill you completely. Praise God for His provision of complete joy. Thank you Jesus!
Several years ago, I endeavored to see the Christmas story through the lens of God’s attributes knowing that all God ordains reveals His character to us. His plan and will always brings Him glory and us good. I invite you to join me this Advent Season to journey through the scriptures with an eye towards God’s character and see what wonders we can discover about our Almighty God. Jeremiah 33:3 will be my guiding verse this season- “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” I am asking God to reveal His character to us though the Christmas stories. May we be mightily blessed and find out many things that were previously hidden to us.
God’s attribute that gives me confidence to ask and call upon Him is His Accessibility. James 4:8promises “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”Ephesians 3:12 “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” and Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” These are just a few verses that confirm to us that we can indeed approach God and seek Him through prayer and study. As we draw near to Him this Advent Season, He will meet us just as He has promised.
Seek Him with me knowing with confidence He will reveal Himself to us through His Word.
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have been equipped to do His work.2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” God has given us the whole of scripture, His divine Word, so that in it and through it we can be equipped for anything He calls us to do for Him. The author of Hebrews was also aware of this equipping that comes through Jesus. He closed his letter assuring the readers that God equips so that His will will be accomplished. Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,21equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Knowing that God equips when He calls you to do something for Him gives me great comfort. We do not need to feel we are capable in ourselves but our reliance needs to be upon Him, His Word, His powerful indwelling Holy Spirit and His great resources. God will see that His work and will is accomplished. Job 42:2 ““I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” We can rest in the promise given in Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” We can be certain that God’s work will be done and nothing in heaven or earth can stop it. We can also be certain that when He calls us to do His work we can do it because He will equip, empower and provide all we need to see it through.
Suggestion: are you struggling with something you think God is calling you to do, are you doubting if you have the time, energy, knowledge, etc. to do this? Pray, look into God’s Word and ask Him if this calling is from Him. If you feel His answer is yes, then let go and let God equip and transform you so that His will is accomplished. It is a matter of trust and faith. You will be surprised by the growth and results when God is in charge of the equipping.