Where do you derive joy from? As the pandemic continues, many of us have been zapped of joy to one degree or another. The "uprootification" (yes, I made that word up!) of different aspects in our lives over the past year can do this - figuring how to work from home, second guessing a kid's runny nose and wondering if they go to school that day or not, difficult relationships with loved ones, and not to mention another Zoom call. The complexity that has been added to our lives can take the joy out of life. Trust me, I know this feeling. Even as the vaccine roles out, the weather warms up, and we seemingly have a better handle on our current situation we still have to navigate complex situations and answers to difficult questions in our daily tasks. This may leave us searching for joy.
I mentioned last Sunday that John 15 is one of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible. It's rich with the grace and goodness of the Father, the love and life of Jesus, and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Take verse 11, "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." This is a powerful idea. Through our abiding in Jesus, he will put his joy in us. Where does Jesus' joy come from? It is from the Father, as Jesus says, "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love...I have kept the Father's commandments and abide in His love" (vs. 9, 10b). An aspect of our union with Christ is we experience joy by remembering our relationship to him. Just as Jesus remembered his relationship to the Father, bringing about obedience, love and joy, we too may contemplate our relationship with Jesus, which brings about our faith, obedience, love and joy. One author puts it this way, "Faith means living daily in the joyful awareness that Christ lives in us" (Anthony Hoekema, Saved by Grace, 1994). Our joy comes from Christ and from remembering that he lives in us.
Christian, as you seek joy today, this weekend, and in the coming weeks remember that our joy will be full in Christ. This means we surround ourselves with things that stir our affections for Christ. For me, a walk outside away from noise will stir my affections for Christ. A good story will stir my affections for Christ. A beautiful piece of design or art, or a conversation with a good friend, these things stir my affections for Christ and lead me to the joy I find in him. When we take time to contemplate this idea and rest in the goodness of Jesus, our saving King, we are filled with a joy the likes of which are unfound in our world.
Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash