“But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:14
Jesus Christ was a man of sorrows, and yet he often spoke of joy. He knew of joy, because he steadfastly possessed it, in spite of everything he had to suffer and endure. A joy that can face the cross, man’s betrayal, and the apparent desertion of those whom he trusted. And he desired for this joy to be fulfilled in our lives.
The joy of the Lord is not of this world; it is not boisterous; it is a holy joy that manifests itself within us, something that can be experienced from the very depths of our being. We cannot create this joy ourselves; it is a fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in us.
This joy is independent of the world and external circumstances. It is said that in the middle of a storm, there is a central place of utter calm. In the same way, while on earth, the Lord always stood in that place of tranquility in spite of all the tumult that surrounded him. Christ’s joy is a fortress that no outward force can penetrate or destroy.
Let us consider some practical ways we can cultivate this joy, this fruit of the Spirit.
The first thing we can do is to avoid focusing on our own feelings, but rather practice the art of meditation. This is the secret of joy: we reflect upon the Lord, Who He is, and what He has done for us; we ruminate upon His Word and promises. The more we seek the face of God, the greater our assurance of His love and of our salvation, and the richer our experience of this joy will be.
Next, we need to avoid everything that will break our fellowship with God, for the moment this is broken, we become miserable. We must do our best to avoid sin and refrain from looking to the world for happiness.
Most of all, we behold the things that Christ spoke of, the truths that He made manifest while on earth, and contemplate and dwell upon them.
“These things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”
The Lord prayed to the Father, and spoke about the joy He wanted to impart to us. Indeed how marvelous it is to know that it is possible for Christ’s joy to be fulfilled in us, and thereby glorify Him in our lives on earth!
** Related Post that describes the elements of joy : https://liliessparrowsandgrass.com/2012/01/04/elements-of-joy/
** Reference: Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Safe in the World: The Assurance of Our Salvation”, Crossway Books, Illinois, 1988, pp. 106-118.
** Photography by David Gois