“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”-John 15:11
Don’t disconnect Jesus’s words in this verse from his relationship with his friends as if he were delivering a sermon. He wasn’t going through a message outline; I suspect he was responding to their reactions. Did he see something in their faces that suggested that they were fearful and downcast?
He did not want his words to make them feel fearful or condemned, but “so their joy may be full.” What did he say that would lead to joy? He told them that he was with them and would never leave them alone. He said that he would give them his peace and love, indeed his very Spirit. When we begin to grasp the fullness of his promises, they fill us with a sense of joy and contentedness, completeness, fulfillment, and often happiness. Will we choose today to live into the fullness of joy Jesus provides?
Jesus, you promise joy, but I confess that I rarely feel its fullness. Fan the flame of your joy in my soul so that I might radiate your beauty to all who see me. Amen.