"These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:11
Joy is the birthright of the child of God. Every child of God ought to have a conscious, conspicuous, continuous, and contagious joy. If you are not living a life of joy, you are living beneath your privileges as a Christian.
The Source of Joy
What is the source of your joy? John 15:11 says the joy that you are to have as a Christian is the joy of Jesus. He says "My joy." Jesus literally wants to take the joy that He has and place it in you. We think of Jesus as a Man of Sorrows, but there was a genuine joy in Jesus; and if you do not have that joy, you are not like Him. Jesus is the source of joy.
The Stability of Joy
Jesus not only wants you to find His joy; He wants you to keep it. This is not a joy that comes and goes. Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." 1 Thessalonians 5:16 is even more clear: "Rejoice evermore." It is important to note, however, that there is a difference between joy and smiling. Even when the tears are coursing down your cheeks, there can still be joy in your heart. If you get your joy from amusement; when you can no longer be amused, your joy is gone. But Jesus never changes. He is always there, and that is why your joy can remain:
The Sufficiency of Joy
Not only is His joy here to stay, but the joy of the Lord is enough. Other things can give you joy in an area of your life; but unless you have joy in Jesus, your joy is not full. The fullness of joy is only in Christ. Psalm 16:11 says, "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
The Secret of Joy
Even though this joy is available to us, not every Christian has joy. You can be a Christian and still be miserable. As a matter of fact, the most miserable man on Earth is not an unsaved man but is a saved man out of fellowship with God. David, after he had committed sin, prayed in Psalm 51:12a, "Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation." He hadn't lost his salvation, but he had lost the joy of it. We also read where Peter wept bitterly even though he was saved (Matthew 26:75).
Many Christians are joyless. They need to know the secret of joy found in John 15:5: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing." There are three significant things about the life of a branch:
Have you brought all of the issues of your life into one burning focus and said. "I have no greater ambition, desire, or responsibility than just to abide in the Lord Jesus Christ?" Dear friend, that is the recipe for joy in your life.
When we come to Him in repentance and faith, we are empowered-and expected-to live the Christian life not by trying, but by trusting. Faith is not only how we receive salvation, it is how we walk, day by day, in grace. Only by faith can we extend forgiveness to others, share God's truth, and leave a godly legacy. As the tapestry of your life unfolds, may you begin to see the wonders of living each day, moment by moment, a life of faith and forgiveness.