Scripture Reading: John 15:1-16.
Jesus said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (Verse 11)
We read in our text that the Lord Jesus desires that His joy would remain in us and that our joy should be full. The Word of God (both Old and New Testaments) speaks about the importance of the joy of the Lord filling our hearts and lives!
1. JOY IN SALVATION, IN TIMES OF SPIRITUAL REFRESHING, AND REVIVAL BLESSING.
“Therefore, with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” —Isaiah 12:3. Jesus said in Luke 10:17-20 that we should rejoice because our names are written in heaven!
The Apostle Peter wrote, “Whom having not seen, you love; In whom though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”—1 Peter 1:8, 9.
In Acts 8:8 we read that there was “great joy in that city” (of Samaria) because of men and women turning to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith and being set free, healed, and wonderfully saved by God’s grace. Wherever and whenever the Lord works by His Spirit in power; saving, delivering, and healing, and in times of Spiritual refreshing and revival blessing, there is true joy!
In Acts 16: 30-34 we read of the Philippian jailer being converted to faith in Christ with all his household and then being baptized and rejoicing!
All who truly accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour in their hearts by faith, experience the joy of salvation. We need to drink deeply at the “wells of full Salvation” in Jesus.—Isaiah 12:3
See also John 4:13-14.
2. JOY IN HEAVEN WHEN SINNERS REPENT AND ARE SAVED.
When the Lord Jesus told the parable of the ‘lost sheep,’ ‘lost piece of silver,’ and the ‘lost or wayward son,’ he said that even as there is rejoicing over one lost sheep being found, and one lost piece of silver being found, and in a wayward son returning home to his father, even so, there is rejoicing in heaven each time a sinner repents and is saved.
3. JOY IN WINNING PRECIOUS SOULS TO CHRIST.
In Luke 15, in the parable referred to above, the ‘shepherd rejoiced to find his lost sheep;’ the ‘woman rejoiced to find her lost piece of silver;’ the ‘father rejoiced that his wayward son returned home’; So, we should also experience joy in our hearts each time precious souls come to Jesus Christ to be saved. There is indeed joy in helping to bring others to the Saviour.
We read in Psalm 126:5,6, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Jesus taught his disciples that ‘both he who sows and he who reaps are to rejoice together.’ (John 4:36)
One of the greatest joys after the joy of our personal salvation is the joy of helping to bring others to the Saviour to be saved.
4. JOY IN TIMES OF SUFFERING AND ADVERSITY
In Acts 5:41 the Apostles who had suffered for Christ’s name, “departed from the Council rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”
In 1 Peter 4:12, 14 we read, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you. But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the Name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part, He is blasphemed, but on your part, He is glorified.”
Read the Book of Philippians: The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian Church from Rome where he was a prisoner; but despite his adverse circumstances and suffering for the Gospel of Christ, he uses the words ‘joy’ and ‘rejoice’ repeatedly in this Epistle. His joy was not dependent on his circumstances but on his relationship with Jesus Christ. ‘Abiding in Christ’ results in His joy filling our heart and sustaining us despite circumstances. John 15:1-11.
One of the ‘fruits of the Spirit’ is Joy! Galatians 5:22-23. Proverbs 17:22 tells us that “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
5. THE JOY OF THE LORD SUSTAINS US IN TIMES OF GRIEF, LOSS, SORROW, AND PAIN.
Someone rightly said, “Joy is given to us now, not to replace suffering and pain, but to support us as we go through it.”
“The Joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
6. RESTORED JOY.
Psalm 51 is a prayer of repentance by King David after he had been confronted by Nathan the prophet and brought to repentance. (Read this Psalm) In verse 12 he prayed, saying, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation…” The Lord heard David’s prayer and did restore to him ‘the joy of his salvation,’ and He will do the same for anyone reading this, who feels they have lost the ‘joy’ of their salvation. Read 1 John Chapter 1.
In Psalm 137 we read that ‘those who took the Jews into exile as captives requested them to sing one of the songs of Zion. But they replied, ‘how can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” There in Babylon they hung their harps on willow trees and were very sad. They were in captivity in a strange land and had also lost their joy and could no longer sing the Lord’s song.
But there came a day when the Lord visited them as he had promised, and they were released from captivity and were free to return to Zion in Jerusalem. We read of this in Psalm 125 where we read, “When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, ‘the LORD has done great things for them’. ‘The LORD has done great things for us and we are glad.’”
The LORD did indeed restore their joy and their song. He will do the same for you dear reader if you feel you have lost your joy. The LORD ‘comforts those who mourn in Zion, and he gives beauty for ashes, the oil of Joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ (Isaiah 61:3)
In Isaiah 35:10-11 we read “And the ransomed of the LORD, shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
7. EVERLASTING JOY.
“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
There is coming a Day of Everlasting Joy when we see Jesus, face to face. What a Day, Glorious Day that will be! In this life, there are times of sorrow and weeping, but we by faith look forward to that glorious day when God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes, and we then will experience eternal joy in His presence. (Revelation 21:1-5)
Thank God for the sure hope we have in Christ. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
True joy is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ. Come to Him. Open your heart and life fully to Him. Drink deeply of the living waters of full salvation found only in Jesus.
At this time of writing, there are many things happening in the world that, if we focus on them, can cause us to lose our joy, hope, and peace.
But, as we lift up our eyes and focus on Jesus, the promises in his precious Word, and the hope we have in Him, He will fill our hearts with His hope, joy, and peace.
In Nehemiah 8 we are told that the Jews who were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem after their return, had become discouraged and disheartened. They were exhorted by Nehemiah and Ezra that, “the joy of the Lord was their strength.”
We live in a fallen and broken world. We need the joy of the Lord filling our hearts as we serve Him in these times in which we live today. In Isaiah 61:3 we are told that Jesus the Messiah would “give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”
Here are the words of a song that used to be sung in the past and was always a great blessing to many people. May the words of this song bring you what you need at this time and may the joy of the Lord be your strength!
Where the Healing Waters Flow Oh, the joy of sins forgiv’n, Oh, the bliss the blood-washed know, Oh, the peace akin to Heav’n, Where the healing waters flow. Refrain: Where the healing waters flow, Where the joys celestial glow, Oh, there’s peace and rest and love, Where the healing waters flow! Now with Jesus crucified, At His feet I’m resting low; Let me evermore abide Where the healing waters flow. [Refrain] O, this precious, perfect love! How it keeps the heart aglow, Streaming from the fount above, Where the healing waters flow. [Refrain] Oh, to lean on Jesus’ breast, While the tempests come and go! Here is blessèd peace and rest, Where the healing waters flow. [Refrain] Cleansed from every sin and stain, Whiter than the driven snow, Now I sing my sweet refrain, Where the healing waters flow. [Refrain] 1
Word in Season—Lloyd Schuetz
1 – The Cyber Hymnal #2226