jesus, joy, and us
"All this I tell you that My joy may be yours and your joy may be complete." —John 15:11
Jesus offers us His complete joy. The question is: do we really want Jesus' type of joy, that is, "complete joy," or would we rather have a cheap, temporary joy? To answer that question, let's look at what constitutes Jesus' joy:
- Jesus finds "joy" when we faithfully obey Him, bear lasting fruit, and receive greater responsibilities (Mt 25:21, 23). Do we find joy in being assigned more work for Jesus?
- He has great joy when a sinner is rescued (Lk 15:5, 32), despite risking His own safety. Do we find joy in risking harm to lead lost people to repentance and conversion?
- He finds great joy and gladness amid persecution (Mt 5:12; Lk 6:23). Does persecution for Jesus' sake bring us joy?
Jesus wants to share His joy completely with us (Jn 17:13). Do we still want Jesus' joy if it involves ever-increasing labor, an exhausting, dangerous quest for repentance and conversion, and exposure to escalating persecution?
Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). The Spirit is given to those who obey God (Acts 5:32). Joy and unselfishness are linked (Phil 4:4-5). To have Jesus' complete joy, we must die to ourself (Lk 9:23), obey Jesus, and want what He wants, not what we want. Then we will rejoice with His joy that no one can take from us (Jn 16:22). We will share His joy completely (Jn 17:13). Our names will be written in heaven, and that will bring Jesus great joy (Lk 10:20-21).
Prayer: Jesus, my Joy (Ps 43:4), I abandon my life unto You.
Promise: "We are saved by the favor of the Lord Jesus." —Acts 15:11
Praise: Ron often witnesses to others that the way to find joy is to put Jesus first, others next, and yourself last.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.