Summary: Where is the Joy? Is it really that elusive? Is it only to be captured for the moment to slip away from our grasp? I am amazed at the number of gloomy faces in the Body of Christ today. This is not part of God’s plan for us. I believe God intends his
Where is the Joy? Is it really that elusive? Is it only to be captured for the moment to slip away from our grasp? I am amazed at the number of gloomy faces in the Body of Christ today. This is not part of God’s plan for us. I believe God intends his children to live a life full of joy; a joy that transcends the difficult circumstances and situations we face on this earthly journey.
Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the full (John 10:10) and part of that fullness is joy. Would you not agree? Joy should be contagious in the Body of Christ and serve as a powerful witness to the world. Joy should spread like wildfire and kindle the embers in the Body losing their glow.
God uses our joy to create a hunger and thirst in the hearts of others and that is what we have to offer the world. After all, who wants to hang around a bunch of gloomy and sad people? The very thought is depressing to me. I believe the Word of God and the God of the Word tells me we can capture the joy and keep it. In preparing a message for the faithful saints at Antioch Baptist church, the Lord spoke to my heart about this subject and I want to share with you what the Lord has shared with my own heart about capturing the joy. Please read and consider the following two verses in John 16:
"But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ’Where are You going?’ "But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.” (John 16:5-6)
How intriguing the disciples have their hearts filled with sorrow as a result of previously asking the Lord in John 13:36 & 14:5, “Where are You going?” Yet, Jesus said of his disciples in Verse 5 “…and none of you asks Me, ’Where are You going?” Is this a contradiction of Scripture? Had Jesus forgotten the disciples previously asked this question? What does he mean?
’The disciples had not asked Jesus where he was going in the sense meant here (John 16:5). They had been concerned with their own immediate loss and with the desperation that had filled their souls. They were concerned with how his departure would affect them; and had not asked how it would affect him either in this world or the world to come. They had forgotten a relationship is a two way street that impacts both parties not just one. They had forgotten in Christ we are two world people. We may live here on earth but our citizenship is in heaven. We may walk on this earthen sod but we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies. Yet, it is easy to forget if we focus on ourselves and this world alone. All the disciples could think of was the empty place at the table not the table being prepared for them in heaven’s glory. They had no thought of the glorious place to which Jesus was going and would prepare for them. As a result, Jesus said of them: (verse 6): “sorrow has filled your heart” So what fills or controls your heart? How can you as a Christian keep sorrow from capturing your heart when we live in a world filled with tribulation?
First, capturing the joy means we have to ask what impact our requests and actions have on the Lord and His Kingdom. Our flesh must be contended with for its nature is self-centered and it causes us to view situations as one-world people. Jesus knows the heart of all men (John 2:24-25) and He knew his disciples were not thinking of him or his kingdom. Their hearts were asking where are you going because we are comfortable here and your leaving will upset that. The disciples did not want to step out of their comfort zone and sense of security. As a result, Jesus said sorrow filled their hearts. They forgot the Lord’s promise in Matthew 6:33 (and this includes joy). Although their question was right, their motive in asking was wrong. We must ask with proper motive and as two world people when we pray. The Bible says, “You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives…(James 4:3) and “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:3-7). It is important to ask the Lord if my requests and actions are taking me where He is going. Am I in step with His will?