Summary: Without the joy of the Lord any ministry can become a burden. Believers soon learn that in the presence of the Lord is fullness of joy and in His right hand are pleasures forever more.
How Jesus’ Joy Gave Him Strength by Paul Fritz
Without the joy of the Lord any ministry can become a burden. Believers soon learn that in the presence of the Lord is fullness of joy and in His right hand are pleasures forever more. (Psa. 16:11)
Joy works as a magnet to bring other people to faith in Christ. Yet, Jesus knew that eternal joy is very different than the temporary joys of this world. The Lord Jesus said, "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love… I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (John 15:10,11)
Application: The joy of Jesus could not be understood unless one was willing to follow the Lord fully. Let us discover what are the ways that Jesus’ joy gave Him strength to accomplish the complete will of God.
1. Jesus became a joy to those who really knew Him. The angel of the Lord appeared to the three wise men and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:9-11) It is little wonder that we can consistently sing, "Joy to the World the Lord is Come." When we know that the Lord is living within us we have plenty of reasons to feel joyful.
2. Jesus’ joy gave hope to the hopeless and encouragement to those who were disillusioned. When the shepherds had seen the Christ child they returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." (Luke 2:20)
When people are really looking, they will find Christ as the answer to their longings and prayers.
3. Jesus’ joy was not conditioned upon favorable circumstances. He said to the disciples,
"Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven." (Luke 6:22,23)
Those who are abiding in Jesus have the amazing capacity to find joy in the midst of terrible conditions.
4. Jesus’ joy was based upon the promises of God. David said, "Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight." (Psa. 43:4)
The Lord Jesus consistently found joy through His communion with the heavenly Father despite the problems in his situation.
5. Jesus served the heavenly Father with a joy that demonstrated a spiritual discipline. David wrote, "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs." (Psa. 100:1)
Even when the Lord Jesus did not feel like celebrating, He disciplined Himself to express praise to God for all of His goodness, grace, and favor.
6. Jesus brought great joy to other Godly people who closely identified with Him. John the Baptist testified of Jesus,
"A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’… The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine and it is now complete." (John 3:27-29)
Application: When we are willing to align ourselves with Jesus and His front line ministries we will experience the fullness of His joy.
7. Jesus promised that our spiritual grief would someone be transformed into great joy. The Lord said to His disciples, "You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy." (John 16:20)
Do not despair when you see worldly people merry making in their pleasures. Be confident that the Lord will replace our spiritual sorrow with His eternal joy.
8. Jesus taught people that prayer by faith held the secret to unlimited joy. The Lord said, "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.
Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." (John 16:24)
Application: Until we ask God consistently for specific things we will not know the full extent of His joy.
9. Jesus knew that joyous Christians will become attractive magnets for people hungering for joy. Jeremiah said, "And from them shall proceed the voice of thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry. I will multiply them and they shall not be diminished."
10. Jesus’ joy came from the word of God. David wrote, "The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart." (Psa.19:8) Jeremiah said, "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty." (Jer. 15:16)
Application: When we meditate on the word and share it with others, the joys of the Lord fill our hearts to overflowing.