1st John 1:4 – We write this to make our joy complete.
John 16:24 – Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
John 15:11 – I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
In this life there is an obvious struggle for joy, in fact I would consider it to be more of a battle than a struggle. I always here people tell me to “choose joy” or to “change my mindset” and am left confused and disappointed. Confused because what does it mean to choose joy, especially if something tragic has occurred, disappointed because it seems like others make it look so easy, I often will ask myself if I am doing something wrong.
It is a struggle
Even though it is a struggle, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible, unfortunately America is great at creating a culture that says “If its hard, its impossible.” This is such flawed thinking, and especially as Christians we are told explicitly that life will not be easy, but we are promised joy, what does this joy look like?
Here is an excerpt from Christ-Centered Exposition
John in this letter “so that our joy may be complete.” Not partial, but complete. Full. All we could want or ever need. John is echoing the words heard from Jesus: “I have spoken these things to you so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11); and “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive so that your joy may be complete.” (John 16:24) We have a fullness of joy in our shared life with Jesus. That fullness of joy is ours through our friendship with one another and with God, who is now our Father. And all of it made possible by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Gods Son.
-Dr. Daniel Aiken
What a word from Dr. Aiken the amazing thing is that it either full joy or no joy, there is absolutely no joy found in the things of this world, seriously just read Ecclesiastes, in fact the author of Ecclesiastes says that every thing is meaningless or as its translated from Hebrew, everything is a “vapor” what does that mean? Vapor quickly passes away, and that is the comparison that the author (most likely Solomon) makes in the book. He says that money, sex, stuff, social status is all vapor in the wind and soon to pass away providing little happiness while you have it, and sadness when it passes on. Until the end of the book, when the realization that only God can and will provide joy crosses the authors mind.
We will all enter into periods of time and seasons of life where joy seems to be nonexistent, I often find that when I struggle to find joy it’s due to my lack of pursuit of the cross. It’s due to my laziness pulling me away from Jesus. We can experience sadness and joy at the same time, sadness is a temporary emotion that comes and goes during our time on earth. Joy transcends emotion, its not an emotion its a state of being that we are granted when the Spirit regenerates our heart, and we experience the fullness of the power of the cross in our own life.
Not Joyful? Seem Lost? pursue the cross on your knees, beg God to RESTORE THE JOY OF HIS SALVATION ON YOUR HEART.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.