May 17, 2023 Devotional
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full
Recently, a co-worker expressed their envy at my ability to find joy in every situation. This comment led me to reflect on this verse from the book of John.
In what is commonly known as the farewell discourse, Jesus spoke these words to His disciples during the last supper. It was an intimate moment where Jesus compared Himself to a vine and His disciples to branches. He emphasized the importance of remaining connected to Him in order to bear fruit. He also mentioned that fruitful branches undergo pruning to produce even more abundant fruit.
This process of pruning varies for each believer and often involves enduring trials. However, these trials have the potential to bring forth greater fruit than ever before. Understanding this brings immense comfort. Regardless of whether one is a follower of Christ or not, everyone faces various trials and hardships in life. Yet, believers can find solace in the knowledge that trials serve as opportunities for the Holy Spirit to shape them into the likeness of Christ.
Although these experiences are never pleasant in themselves, Christians can endure life’s storms with the assurance that God is sovereign and works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
But where does joy fit into this picture? Jesus specifically spoke of His joy being in His disciples and their joy being full. It is important to note that joy is not the absence of trials or the denial of pain. True joy comes from knowing that we are connected to the source of life, Jesus Christ, and that He is working in and through us, even in the midst of difficulties.
Joy is a deep-seated confidence and contentment that transcends circumstances. It is the assurance that we are loved, valued, and chosen by God. When we abide in Christ, His words and teachings will dwell in us, and His joy becomes a part of our lives. It is a joy that remains steadfast, regardless of the challenges we face.
So, even in the face of trials, we can experience joy. We can find joy in the knowledge that God is using these hardships to shape us, strengthen our faith, and produce fruit that will bring glory to Him. Our joy is not dependent on our circumstances but on our relationship with Christ. This is exactly what I told my co-worker, by the way.
As we navigate the trials and tribulations of life, let us hold on to the promise of John 15:11. Let us who are connected to the vine, abiding in Christ, and experiencing the fullness of His joy, take that joy and hope to hopeless and joyless people all around us. May His joy be our strength, our anchor, and our constant source of hope and contentment, and may others see this as the driving reality of our lives.