John 15 -How To Have A Joy Filled Life!
There are many different ideas, about the ways we can find happiness and joy in our lives. The most sought-after thing in life is happiness and joy. Everybody will have their ideas about what would make them happy and joyful. Some will believe that if they could be rich or finically stable then they would be happy. Others think that living a life of unbridled passion; rather that is for material objects, relationships, sexuality, power, etc; is what they believe would bring them happiness. The problem is that once we have all of that our hearts desires we still are not satisfied in life. The famous actor Jim Carrey has been quoted as saying, “I hope everybody could get rich and famous and will have everything they ever dreamed of, so they will know that it's not the answer.”
So what is the answer then? First, we have to identify the problem. The problem started in the garden of Eden; when Adam and Eve disobeyed God causing sin and division to enter the world. We are all sinners and lack the thing that would bring us unending and unmatchable happiness and joy. Before sin entered into the human race, Adam and Eve enjoyed an intimate relationship with God. It can be understood from the Genesis account that God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden. This shows us that there was an intimate relationship between God and mankind. After the fall we are not told about God walking with Adam and Eve again. The reason is that their sin had broken the intimate relationship they had with God.
Ever since “The Fall,” mankind has been trying to fill the emptiness of not having a relationship with God. Most of the time we do it with the things mentioned above. If I could just have this, or do that, or….. then I would be happy and joyful. It’s a never-ending cycle of false hope and disappointment because we never deal with the issue of our relationship with God.
The answer to our problems can be found in John 15. In the first nine verses, Jesus is telling the disciples that He is the vine and we are the branches. The way that we bear fruit is by remaining in Christ. Fruit can mean both new converts and changes in our lives; like the fruit of the Spirit. If we are going to be fruitful we have to remain in the right relationship with Jesus. Then in the next verses, Jesus tells us how we can be happy and joyful in this life.
“As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. “I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:9-13 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/jhn.15.9-13.hcsb )
Jesus gives us the key to having the happiness and joy that we seek so badly in this life, but fail to obtain. The key is to: “remain in My love.” If we remain in Jesus’ love then we are promised that His joy would be in us and our joy would be complete. That is the key to happiness and joy is remaining in the right relationship with God. The way to remain in the right relationship is to accept Jesus as your Savior and to continue in His love.
His love is not like the love of this world. The love of this world is not one of equality but is one of equity. It is not the same as the love of Christ. To understand the love of Christ we need to look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/1co.13.4-7.hcsb )
This means that we seek the best for others instead of ourselves. We don’t stand and demand our rights. Instead, we look for ways to love others even when they are acting in unloving ways. When others harm us, we should react in love. Love doesn’t want to harm others. It doesn’t want to destroy the sinners that have hurt us. It seeks restoration in the hope that those that hurt us would repent and get right in their relationship with God. This is hard and most of us fail at it most of the time. That is why we need to remain in the love of Christ, the vine, then we can start to show this type of love to others; through the help and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Remain in Jesus’ love and your joy will surely be fulfilled.
Pray and ask God to help you remain in His love and help you to be able to show His love to others. Look for ways that you can help others who are struggling be restored through the love of Christ.