Updated: Jun 21
John 15:11 – I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
John 15 is known as the passage of the true vine and its branches; abiding, remaining, relying on the life of the Son. But recently, it has been an important passage on my journey of discovering the joy God created us for. While there are many ways in which we read this passage, I think one verse gives us the heart – tone and intention – when Jesus, in verse 11 says,
“I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”
Jesus informs us of pruning, reminds us of our inability to produce fruit or do anything without him, and instructs us in the way of obedience in the commandments of God. Why? For our joy. Love is the tone of this passage, communicated by a faithful friend who desires our utmost joy. Jesus desires that we might live in that joy.
We often have distorted views of God. These views might be of an angry God, a disappointed Father, a frustrated Creator; a serious straight-faced, arms-crossed, head-shaking bearded man in the sky.
These views, flatly, are inaccurate. God is the most joy-filled, delighted being in the entire Universe! And He feels great joy and deep fascination about you! Thoughts contrary to that belief must then be an indicator off something wayward in me and not an issue with God. How often do I believe God to be disappointed in me or concerned only about my adherence to his ‘rules?’ Answer: very often. In fact, in looking at my life and my choices, I must confess that I probably believe that He’s disappointed in me more than I believe in the truth that He loves me; that God is looking for value in my production and performance, my people-pleasing and need for control, rather than seeing how He unconditionally values me.
He loves me and wants a joy-filled life for me.
This joyous life is not reserved for someday when I die or in some far distant land. It is given today, here and now. We can walk in the way of joy today. Jesus has made the way, he shows the way, and he is the way. Following His words faithfully guarantees that my joy may be fulfilled. His way, indeed, is the way of joy.
Jesus, help me to live the way you live so that I can enjoy life with God. Amen.