John 15:11 “These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
We serve a living God who responds to our cry, our need, joy, prayer, worship etc. I don’t blame any religion but I will tell you about the traits of my God. He never sleeps nor slumbers; He respects true offerings and the true worshiper. He is pleased with those who diligently seek him. Our God is not a marble stone or a Golden calf but He is the boss of the universe and He sitteth in the circle of Earth and has all power in Him.John 1:3, ‘all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made’. He has the power to give life and take life. No one can flee from His presence, whether we sit in a dark room or make our home on the stars. His eye is always upon us. He took the dust of the ground, fashioned a man in His own image and breathed into his nostrils a life, and that fashioned dust was transformed into a living being. He knows the slang of the fishes and worms. He even talks to them . Job 38:11, ‘when I said, ‘This far you may come and no further; here is where your proud waves halt’? God did not make the Great Wall of China to stop the waves of the sea, but He commanded the sands of the seashore to stop the pride of the waves. So seeing all this into account, can we please the Divine Glory with a small candle stick and crackers? God made sun and cloud thunders. How can we please him with a zero volt light and 10 decibel sound? Dear ones, these are naked truth and no one can ignore this. Can anyone tell me as to how I can bring joy in the face of God? Because I want to please Him. Holy Bible says, ‘God is not pleased with burnt offerings and bull offerings.’ So let us look through the word and glean some truth out of it.
The verse begins like this “these things I have spoken unto you” . Which things? We can come into three conclusions out of it : 1) The Gospel of John, 2) The 15th chapter of John, and 3) The Holy Bible. Yes! The Bible is given so that our joy may be full.
Three things I want to share here :
• If the joy of the Lord is in us, then our joy will be full
• If the word of God is in us, then our joy will be full
• When the Holy Spirit is in us, then our joy will be full.
Joy is the fruit of the Spirit. Romans 14:17, ‘ for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.’ Now here we see two kinds of joy : the joy of Jesus and the joy of mankind. If we read this verse carefully, we can gather a lot of things out of it. First of all, the joy of mankind is not complete. It will be full only if the joy of the Lord remains in him. How can we enjoy the fullness of joy? Can this world give us joy? I can suggest you a few preachers who can give powerful and deeper messages on joy but does that bring fullness of joy in you? No! Fullness of Joy cannot be achieved in this way; you need to have personal fellowship with God to achieve it…Just hearing a powerful sermon will not help you. Alas! How can you know a person if you don’t have fellowship with him? Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. He is good and His mercy endures forever. Let us see as to what will bring joy in the face of Jesus.
Luke 15; 4-7 “Suppose one of you have a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’
First, when we repent, there is rejoicing in heaven and that brings joy to the Lord.Now you may say that you repented many years back. Then how can I bring joy to the Lord? Yes! You can still do it by wining souls to the Lord. In this parable, we see one shepherd who left his 99 sheep in the wilderness and went after the lost one. What does this show? More than a business step, it shows an emotional step…He did not waste his time by calculating the lose and profit over one sheep. Rather he got up and went to look for the lost one. Yes God’s ministry is not a business, Winning souls is not a business, but more than that, it is doing the will of God. It is knowing the heart of the Lord. It is bringing joy in the heaven and pleasing the Father. To make man, God did not pay anything but to redeem a lost mankind; He paid a price by sending his only begotten Son- Jesus Christ. If you have not received Jesus in your life yet, this is the time. Refrain yourselves from all evil ways and repent over your sins because the wages of sin is death but the gift of God through Jesus Christ is eternal life.
Second, ‘Identify the real joy. If we identify the real joy, then we will enjoy the fullness of joy.’ Psalms 4:7, ‘ Thou has put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.’ David recognized the real joy. That’s why when he lost it, he cried in Psalms 51:12, ‘ Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.’ Getting good family life, salary increment, a new car etc. is not the fullness of joy. All these will fade and vanish away slowly, but one thing that endures is the joy of our salvation and the joy in the Lord. Dear one, do you think that prosperity is the ultimate joy? Oh dear saints, do you rejoice when the spirits are subjected to you in the name of Jesus? Jesus said ‘However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’ Habakkuk 3:17-18, ‘Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.’ Habakkuk recognized the real joy; he said that even if all the things around him fail, yet he will not fail. Dear one, can you praise if you are surrounded by unfavorable circumstances? Let me share with you one testimony. I am not boasting my self here. I want to simplify the subject. One day, while I was getting ready for the meeting, one of my dear ones made a nasty comment about me which was baseless. The moment I heard that, I was so much disturbed in my spirit that it was difficult for me to even walk an inch. Soon the devil started to put lot of thoughts in my mind. He even started to stop me from writing ‘The Living Rhema’, because he said that it’s of no use. But God gave me the grace to respond in this difficult situation… I did not support that evil thought. But I decided that I am going to praise & worship my God more than any other day…That decision gave me a great peace in my mind and I could feel God taking away my burden. Now you won’t believe – that comment was out of my mind and I loved that person more than before. Here God taught me a good lesson. Don’t let any circumstance to disturb your joy in the Lord. That day, the meeting was like Niagara fall!! The power of Holy Spirit was flowing on each and everyone! If you face financial shortage, family problems, people’s mockery comment etc., don’t allow the devil to win your heart. He is a murderer. He will steal away your joy. Rather pray for those people who mocked you because they are weak elements.
Paul wrote the epistle of Philippians when he was in the prison. In the midst of turmoil, we could see him mentioning about the joy 17 times. What is the reason? Because he identified the real joy. He counted all things loss which was gain to him, because he had gained Christ.
Heb 11: 24-26, ‘ by faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.’ I think I don’t need to explain this much. In worldy language, Moses won the lottery. He could have stayed as a prince and enjoy the pleasures and joy of the riches, but since he identified the real joy, he refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. You must despise fame and embrace shame and persecution for His name sake, like Jesus who endured cross for the joy that was set before him. Why did He endure the cross? Because He saw the resurrection. He saw you and me in the eternal life. Identifying the real joy will give fullness of joy.
Thirdly, priority to the Kingdom of God will give fullness of joy.If the Joy of the Lord is your priority, then your joy will be full.Mathew 6:33, ‘ Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and these things shall be added unto you.’ What is the position of God in your life brother/sister? Does he come after all your attempts fail? Or is He knocking at your door? Reset the priority of your life today! Psalms 16:8, ‘ I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.’ Do you have a thirst for the Lord and His kingdom? I remember that sometimes I compel people to worship the Lord, to raise their hands, and to open their mouths. One day I asked my God, “ why do I need to compel the people ?” And I got the reply that, “they have no thirst”…You don’t compel someone who is thirsty to drink water? Do you? Like wise if you have a thirst for the Lord, no one will compel you to give tithe, give praise, and bring souls to the church…All these will come automatically because you have the thirst and your priority is God! If you set the Lord before you, then there is the fullness of joy because there is joy in the presence of God. Psalms 16:11, ‘You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’
Let the Joy of our Lord remain in us. In other words, let us dip into the ocean of joy of the Lord so that His joy will give us the Fullness of Joy.
Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!
God Bless you