A lot of people think you give up fun or joy to be a Christian. But that is so wrong, in fact, without Jesus, all you can hope for is happiness at times. With Him there is deep joy even in times of trouble because He is a very present help to us.
True, it can be hard to count certain things as joy, but when you learn that that it is a powerful force of the Spirit, and not to let it be taken, you will experience a different level of inner joy and even holy laughter. Let’s see what Jesus says about joy, like His peace, He wants us to have His joy.
…If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.…John 15:10,11,12
In that day you will no longer ask Me anything. Truly, truly, I tell you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete (or full, )John 16:23,24.
And back in the Old Testament, we are told not to grieve, and that the joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10. Indeed, we are not to grief the Holy Spirit, nor quench His work in us. We must remain in faith, with Jesus as our hope and remain in His love, looking back to John 15:11, the phrase remain in love is used, also remain in joy is used in some translations.
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. John 16:22, Jesus will soon be crucified, but He knew He will see the disciples before He ascends, their sorrow will turn to joy.
It can also be a prelude to the coming of the Holy Spirit, and even to the return of Christ someday. Jesus is called our joy and delight. No wonder we are to delight ourselves in Him and receive the desires of our heart, as He too delights in us. that’s how He makes our desires His.
As we celebrate the resurrection and remember the empty tomb, let us also be reminded it is still empty, so our joy could be full. And we have a lot to be thankful for this spring, including His April Joy. Rebecca Jones