These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
The word “joy” comes from a root word meaning to rejoice exceedingly, be well, to thrive.
Think about this…even though Jesus was “despised and rejected by men; a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” He talked about His joy more than His sorrow. It is because He knew that any sorrow He felt was short-lived compared to the everlasting joy that He had within. Moreover, His sorrow was not a self-pitying one, but rather was for those who were still lost and without a Savior.
In the world today joy and happiness are used interchangeably. The truth is that the world can only offer you happiness which is a temporary feeling of euphoria brought on by some external factor – a raise in salary or a good time out with friends, for example, or some other pleasant event that appeals to your senses.
Joy, on the other hand, is not dependent on external influences or your sense realm. It originates within. It is understandable, then, that Jesus, even though He was hated and reviled by so many, maintained His joy. Not only that……..He wants you to have His joy.
Jesus’ joy originated from the intensely intimate relationship that He shared with the Father. Because of this, He was able to maintain His joy even in the face of terrible persecution and rejection. He did not allow temporary situations to permanently affect Him. He remained focused on His mission and His continuous communion with His Father.
For Him to be moved with such compassion for those who were afflicted, Jesus had to know the joy they were missing. When He saw that they were like sheep without a shepherd, He knew they were missing the joy of having the love of the Great Shepherd to guide them. He knew the joy they were missing when their bodies were afflicted with disease or the minds were tormented. He also knows the joy you miss when you don’t abide in Him completely.
John chapter 15 details Jesus’ final commands to His disciples before His crucifixion. The last words that are spoken are usually the ones that you remember most vividly. This is why I believe He took the time to expound clearly in this chapter on His two commandments – love God by abiding in Him (verses 1-8); love your neighbor as Jesus loves you (verses 9-17).
Jesus described the joy that awaits a good servant. When you are a faithful steward over the things that the Father has assigned to you, you can be assured of the right to enter into the joy of the Lord.
- His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Matthew 25:21
- These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
- “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11
- …lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrew 12:1,2
- Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, (insert your name here), whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:4-8