“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11 NKJV)
Jesus said that the reason He spoke to us (instructing us) is so that we should have joy, and so that joy should remain in us.
What is joy? Joy is excessive happiness. Happiness could be equal to contentment, but joy is beyond contentment. Joy is the emotion you would feel if you discovered a hidden treasure in a field. It’s the emotion you feel when you see a loved one that you haven’t seen in a long time. It’s the deep feeling of happiness that causes a smile to be plastered on your face. Its the opposite of sorrow and depression. It’s truly what all of mankind seeks.
But too many christians are depressed. Too often I see sour faces and sunken shoulders. This should not be! Jesus came to give us joy, joy that no man can take away!
So where are we missing it? It is simple. We are not listening to the words Jesus has spoken to us. Too many christians see God’s word’s as bondage, when they are truly liberty. We disobey to our own peril and to our own unhappiness. We must simply repent and begin now to obey God and follow His word.
This truly reveals the heart of Jesus, and of the Father. The enemy comes to bring bondage, although he promises liberty. But the Father brings us liberty, which the enemy seeks to portray as bondage. Jesus’ words are not bondage! His words are spirit and they are life!
The biggest area that God’s people are missing it in is the very thing that Jesus spoke about in this 15th chapter of the gospel of John. He tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches. He tells us that we must abide in Him and let His words abide in us. I know for a fact that most christians are not doing this. How do I know? Because they are depressed and ineffective. Jesus said that if you did it then you would, number one, have joy, and, number two, bear much fruit. If you aren’t bearing fruit (i.e. being effective in whatever you are doing) and you don’t have joy, it’s because you aren’t abiding in Him and letting His word abide in you.
I look at many pastors and ministers and see SO many that have no joy. I see so many that are not effective. Why? They aren’t abiding in Jesus. They aren’t listening to what Jesus has to say. I know that for me, when I am abiding in Jesus, I am effective and joyful, and when I am not abiding in Jesus, I am depressed and powerless.
The question is then, why aren’t people abiding in Jesus? Why aren’t people letting the Word abide in them? Well, I know exactly why. It’s they same reason that I don’t so many times. We let the cares of the world seep in. We get distracted by things that are fleshly. We skip prayer times, because we have other things that we ‘must’ get done. We get too busy.
And many people just have no idea of what a vibrant relationship with Jesus is about! Going to church is all they do!
OH, if we could only get our priorities in order! We must crucify the flesh, go into the prayer chamber, seek the Lord. We must learn to wrestle with God as Jacob did until we obtain the blessing. We must learn to give Him the deep inner parts of our hearts. When we do, heaven will open and joy will fill our souls to overflowing!