E31 - Joy - Evidence of Abiding with Jesus


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It's true that joy is our natural state of mind. It's the default setting God gave us! But why do so many people lack joy in their lives? Well, it all comes down life here on earth--and what happens when you're not able to have a joyful experience because someone or something takes away your peace.
Hope’s Harbor Gritty Bible Devotions

Episode #31

Title: Fruit of the Spirit: Joy – Evidence of Abiding with Jesus

Date: December 6, 2021

Contact: info@hopesharbor.net

Key verse(s): John 15:11- "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

Joy; cheerfulness, that is, calm delight: - gladness

Intro: When I went through a 4-week counseling program 11 years ago I learned that joy is our natural state of mind. It is the default setting GOD gave us.

So why is joy so lacking in many of our lives? Well, I learned the answer to that also. It is life in this world that has the potential to rob us of joy.

Do you think Jesus knew this and therefore gave us a conditional promise in John 15:11?

So the question comes to mind: what things did Jesus mean when He said, “These things I have spoken to you…?”

The answer is found in a couple of preceding verses in chapter 15 of John.

Devotion focus: Joy is a gift received by abiding in Jesus

The focus of Jesus’s teaching in chapter 15 of John is the importance of abiding with Him. What does this mean? It means to remain in close contact at all times. But how can we when there are so many distractions throughout every day? I will answer this in the Summary and build upon it in the Actions to Consider at the end of this episode.

This is where a personal decision is made as to whether you and I will do the work of maintaining our relationship with the Son of GOD, or not. Listen to the words of Jesus when He describes this principle and practice of staying close to Him:

John 15:4 – “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

Jesus tied abiding together with bearing fruit, or good works. This means joy is the outcome of bearing fruit, doing good for others. And then in John 15:8 – He explains further: “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

First, let me point out the phrase so you will be means so you will become His disciples in the fullest sense.

When we abide close to Jesus GOD will cause fruit, good works, to come through you. This is accomplished by the indwelling Holy Spirit, in the Name and Authority of Jesus and is done in a way your good works will point to the Glory of GOD.

We cannot add to GOD’s glory in the slightest, but we can allow GOD to bring about good in and through our lives and in how we live toward others.

When we allow this process to take place, GOD gives us joy.

Let me explain: first of all joy is something anyone can experience without GOD’s influence. Many things bring joy… think about it. What brings you joy?

But what I’m talking about is the supernatural joy of GOD. I find this level of joy when serving others, trying to do good for others. Even when results are not what I hope for, if I think about serving others in light of eternity, joy surges through me. This joy is evidence of dwelling close in my spirit with Jesus.

Summary: GOD gives joy when we learn to abide close to Jesus. But we must develop the relationship on our end. Jesus already wants to be close to you and will help with this process. He knows how difficult it can be. Your part and mine is to practice thinking about our Heavenly Father and His love for us.

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