Scripture: John 17:13 CEB “Now I’m coming to you and I say these things while I’m in the world so that they can share completely in my joy.” There are special moments in our life where we experience deep joy. When we graduate from high school. The day we find out we are accepted to the college of our choice. When we are hired for our first job. The day we marry the person we love. The day our children are born. There are many special occasions that bring with them a deep sense of joy. These are incredible moments which we would like to bottle and be able to relive whenever we want. The joy we feel is more than mere happiness, it is an overwhelming sense of God’s goodness to us. Perhaps the best part about most of these special moments of deep joy is the people with whom we are able to share them. The people who love us and are invested in our joy. We celebrate those who celebrate with us. There is something extremely special about being able to share special moments where we experience deep joy together. When I review my life, there are several people with whom I have shared some of the most joyous moments in my life. I am blessed beyond measure with my wife and daughters. I am grateful for friends like Eric, Dan, Aaron, Andrew, Steve, and so many more. I am thankful for my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, my in-laws, my nephew, and all my family. These folks have been with me in some of the most joyous moments in my life. Yet, as I have thought about these folks there is something even more special about them all. While they have been there to share in my joy – they have brought me even more joy. I have been with them in times of their joy and we have shared in each other’s joy for many, many years. I believe this is what true, godly relationships are all about. We give and share joy in authentic relationships. It is a mutual experience that brings joy to everyone. I believe this is what Jesus is describing in his prayer to the Father. Jesus says, “Now I’m coming to you and I say these things while I’m in the world so that they can share completely in my joy.” Jesus makes it clear that his joy is in doing the will of the Father. He knows that his time on this earth was drawing to an end. Jesus also knew that this was only the beginning of the redemption of all creation. It is in completing the work of the Father that Jesus found great joy. Bringing salvation from sin and death for those he had been closest to would bring immense joy. Living into the truth of John 3:16-17 would have given Jesus incredible joy. So, Jesus wanted to make sure that the people he was about to give his life for would not just share in his suffering. Jesus wanted to ensure that those he loved would also share completely in his joy. The joy of his salvation and the joy of eternity with God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us the gift of his joy. In John 15:11 Jesus says, “I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete.” How will this truth affect you today? Jesus has placed his joy in you so that your joy may be complete. What will you do with this truth today? Seek that joy today. Start your day with gratitude for all that Jesus has done, especially for you. Give thanks to God for making a way for forgiveness and salvation. There isn’t anything you could have ever done or will ever do that can keep you away from God’s love. With the joy of Jesus in our heart and mind we cannot be sour. There are things in life that stink. I assure you those are not from God. It is only by turning to God and relying on the joy of the Lord in all circumstances that we will persevere. Don’t try to live in your own joy, but live in the joy of Jesus today. May you experience the true joy of Christ today. Prayer: Holy God, thank you for being the God of joy. No matter what I face today I will do so with the joy that Jesus has given me. May my joy be complete in you today. In times of frustration, disappointment, excitement, sadness, or grief – I will remember your joy. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
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