What comes to your mind when you think of “joy?” Do you liken joy to just a mere feeling of ecstasy or pleasure derived only when pleasurable things occur? It runs deeper than that. It is the divine act of reverence to God, which stems from abiding in the love of Christ. In other words, the love of God overshadows all our earthly desires, and we are elevated to a heavenly realm of praise, where Christ becomes our only desire and God our father is glorified above all things. When your joy is full in Christ, you don’t get easily shaken by the storms of life, because you live in the consciousness of God being larger than life itself!! With joy comes gladness of heart and the grace to continue in joy. As is written in Psalm 118:24 “this is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!”
The question is, how do we abide in the love of Christ so that His joy may be fulfilled in our lives?
We need to be sanctified by the truth
To many of us, it is normal to be curious about things we are interested in or wish to know. We satisfy our curiosity by seeking and gathering information, in an effort “to know” or “to get acquainted with” whatever it is that’s got our interest. it is the same in our relationship with Jesus. To know Christ better and abide in His love, we need to be sanctified by the truth (John 17:17). This happens only when we are filled with His word and are receptive enough to let our lives be changed by His word. And who is the word of God? Christ is. It is He who sanctifies us and transforms us completely when we let Him into our lives. It is written in John 1: 14 “and the word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth.”
Obedience to His word
Our Lord wants us to be doers not just hearers of his word. That is why He said in John 15: 10 “if you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love” verse 12 says “this is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” We need to love one another, never forgetting that we all are created in the image and likeness of God. Christ demonstrated His unconditional love when He died for us even while we were yet sinners. loving one another includes loving even those who you feel are underserving of your love. It is written in 1 Corinthians 16:13 “let all that you do be done with love.”
Giving thanks always
The bible commends us to give thanks in all things (1 thess 5:18). Even our Lord Jesus throughout all His ministry on earth always gave thanks to the Father. Out of Love comes thankfulness. When we give thanks, we demonstrate our Love, faith, trust and loyalty to God by appreciating who He is and what he has done for us. Every parent would love a child that says thank you, and every child that is thankful will abide in their parents’ love. As it is written in Psalm 100:4 “enter His gates with thanks giving and into His courts with Praise, be thankful to Him and bless His name.”
Benefits of Abiding in His Love
- Your joy is full (John 17:13)
- The love of God overshadows you
- You behold the glory of the Lord. This means that God is glorified in your life.
- You are transformed by His truth
- You become one in God
- The love of Christ nourishes you, so you are fruitful and bear much fruits.
- The lord sustains your fruit, so that they remain.
- You receive answers to prayers (John 16:23-24)
I would encourage you to wake up, shake the dust off you and rejoice in the lord. Count your blessings, name them one by one. Think about salvation and the promise of eternal life in Christ Jesus! Make it a priority to expect and have faith that come what may, you are blessed every single day and God is good to you always.
Heavenly father, in thankfulness we say this prayer, that your joy may be fulfilled in our hearts. Take away sorrow and pain, let your comfort be soothing to every part of our souls where it hurts. Fill us with your spirit of truth and let there be an overflow of joy in our lives. Amen!