We were elated when our son and daughter-in law who’d been trying to conceive for over a year called to say they were expecting our first grandchild. Our joy was doubled when they told us after seeing the ultrasound that they were expecting twins!
As soon as I heard, I shared the news with the rest of our family and close friends. When you’re filled with joy, you’ve got to share the cause of your joy, don’t you? True joy just can’t be contained! Joy is made all the greater when it’s shared with those you love. You know they’ll delight in your joy with you; and just sharing it increases—or “completes”— your joy.
I can’t imagine the disappointment I’d have felt if I’d had to keep the news to myself. My son and daughter-in-laws’ joy was in me; their joy became complete as they shared with family and friends, and our joy in turn became complete and overflowed as we in turn shared the news with our friends.
This brought to my mind a scripture from one of my all-time favorite chapters in the Bible, John 15.
“I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. “ John 15:11 Amplified version
Jesus longs for us to know the joy that He had (and has) in being an obedient Son of His Heavenly Father. In fact, the joy He had in obeying His Father’s will by taking our place on the cross is made complete when we also choose to remain in God’s love by obeying His commandments, which demonstrates our love for Him and His Father.
The verses that precedes John 15:11 are:
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10 NKJV
He told us how to have His joy; by obeying His Father’s commands. His commands are always for our good and for His glory. Our obedience keeps us in intimate fellowship with God.
Just as with earthly parents in which intimate fellowship is only possible when the child is obedient to the parents, we can only have a relationship of intimacy with God when we are obedient to Him. Disobedience breaks the fellowship between parent and child, and also between God and mankind. I know several friends who deeply love their children and desperately desire to have close communion with them, but intimacy is impossible because the children are unwilling to obey their parents. God’s desire for us to have unbroken, intimate fellowship with Him is far greater than any earthly parents’ desire to have fellowship with their children. He knows that we cannot experience true and lasting joy, peace or love apart from Him.
When we have the joy that comes from being in close communion with God, we’ll not be able to contain it! Just like I couldn’t help but share the joy I had in learning I was going to be a grandmother, we’ll feel compelled to share the joy we’ve found in a relationship with Jesus with those we love. Why? So that our joy will be complete because we’ve shared our joy with others, and because they’ll know the Source of our joy which is found in a personal relationship with Jesus.
Are you experiencing the overflowing joy of an intimate relationship with Jesus? If not, ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of any area of disobedience that is keeping you from having intimate fellowship with Him. Read His words of love to you which are found in the Bible (the book of John in the New Testament is a great book to start with), and ask Him to give you His heart to obey Him in every area of your life so that His joy—and yours—will be complete!
Written by JVG