The Joy of the Lord
We have a great High Priest who constantly intercedes on our behalf. The Son of God and Man loves you more deeply than you can fathom. He prays for you, that you might walk in the abundant life his death affords you. And in John 17 we get a glimpse into the fullness of his desire for all those who would believe in him. As we dive deeply into the riches of Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer this week, may your heart be awakened and your life be transformed by the riches of God’s love.
Scripture:“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13
Jesus came to bring about the fullness of joy in man. Often we see Christians who are not exhibiting a lifestyle of joy, and therefore we assume God is not a happy God. We see all the darkness that surrounds and assume that God is most often angry or sad. But in John 17:13 Jesus prayed to the Father, “But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”
Jesus’ prayer in John 17:13 demonstrates two important, life-changing truths for you and me today. First, Jesus had joy. We could not have his joy fulfilled in us if he doesn’t have joy to start with. And the whole of Scripture supports the truth that within God dwells the fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” And Galatians 5:22 tells us that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. The God whom you have been filled with at salvation longs to produce the fruit of joy in your life. He longs to make you a joyful person from the inside out, that your joy wouldn’t be based on circumstances or the fleeting whims of the world.
Second, John 17 tells us that we can have the joy of Jesus for ourselves. The God of joy longs to fill you to overflowing with satisfaction and hope. He longs to make your joy abundant and transcendent of the good or bad around you. God is joyful because it’s a part of his nature. And he longs for it to be the same with you.
Do you believe that God is a joyful god? Have you experienced how happy he is? Have you met with him and encountered the joy and peace in his heart toward you? Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” God longs to meet with you today and fill you with joy to overflowing. In Romans 15:13 Paul prays, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Joy is available to you today as you believe. There is hope in the Holy Spirit.
Come to God today with all your cares and burdens. Lay them at his feet and allow him to fill you with peace and joy where only heaviness abounded. God longs to set you free from the burdens of anxiety. He longs to lead you to a life of happiness and freedom in the Spirit. As you enter into guided prayer, choose to commit to God anything that has been weighing you down. Come before him with faith that he will shepherd you to greener pastures as you offer him your heart and follow his guidance.
1. Meditate on God’s desire to fill you with the joy of Jesus.
“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
2. Lay your burdens at the feet of God. What concern, problem, circumstance, or relationship has been weighing on you? What has been stealing your joy lately? Cast all your cares at the feet of your heavenly Father who loves you.
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
3. Ask God to fill you with joy inexpressible. Ask him to reveal to you his joy, and to help you bear the fruit of his Spirit.
Oftentimes we allow ourselves to be continually downcast rather than fighting for the joy available to us in God. Joy is a vital part of the Christian life. We are not made to carry burdens that steal our joy and keep us from the abundant life Jesus died to give us. Psalm 16:6 says, “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” God has plans to lead you to a life filled with the fullness of joy. May you pursue all the wonders and blessings God has in store for you today through the powerful sacrifice of Jesus.
Extended Reading: Psalm 16
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