That Your Joy May Be Full

by Terry Wane Benton

Jesus prayed that those who would become His disciples would have a joy that is full (John 17:13; 15:11-13; 16:22). It would come through knowing the truth of the apostle’s eyewitness testimony of Jesus which provided the basis for the conviction that Jesus addresses our need of a cleansed and cleared conscience from sin. He gives us a purpose for living and a hope that is literally out of this world. With the past forgiven, a present that is well supplied, and a glorious future, how could we not have a fullness of joy?

Jesus wanted us to have a joy that “no man can take from you” (John 16:22), and indeed, the apostles had this joy so that not even threats and persecution could override and prevail over this joy (Acts 4:32; 5:40-42). They rejoiced that they were “counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” That joy was so full that there was no room for feeling sorry for themselves. That is the joy Jesus prayed that we would all come to possess.

Jesus’ prayer was further realized in disciples who were not eyewitnesses of Jesus but knew the certainty of the apostle’s testimony (I Peter 1:6-8). They had never seen Jesus but still had “joy inexpressible and full of glory.” That is the joy that prevails over hardship and trial. That joy develops as a fruit of walking closely with the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-22). No matter the storms or trials we may face, we need to have a treasure inside that is deeper and stronger (II Corinthians 4:4-16) than the unpleasant things that may happen to us. It needs to be like the children’s song, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart to stay” and “I know the devil doesn’t like it, but it's down in my heart…down in my heart to stay”. “I’ve got the wonderful love of my blessed redeemer way down in the depths of my heart to stay.” This is the joy Jesus wanted us to discover and realize in a full way.

Can we have something so excellent (Philippians 3:8) that gives us reason to “rejoice in the Lord always?” (Philippians 4:4). Or have we settled on a measure not so full that people can easily take from us? Pour into our hearts the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ that leave no room for darker thoughts, fears, anger, and anxiety. Get focused on Jesus and the fullness of joy He is praying for you to have and enjoy! Others obtained it, and we can have it in the same way and in the same measure. Go for it!

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