by Carolyn Dale Newell
And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 1 John 1:4 NKJV
Have you ever woken up with a reminder of dread and distress slapping you in the face?
When my alarm sounded, I hit snooze. I had only been asleep for a couple of hours, and now it was time to face the same things that kept me awake. A darkness imprisoned me, and getting up meant lifting the same heavy weight I carried yesterday.
In that season, my joy registered far below full. As a matter of fact, I was running on fumes.
As I began preparing a Bible study on John’s first epistle, I paused at verse four of chapter one. In the past, I read this verse wondering why my joy never was full. But this time I realized I have full joy for the first time. Even better, I realized why I have more joy now than in the past: I have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
Do you remember the Apostle John always leaning on the chest of Christ, and how he called himself the disciple Jesus loved? He didn’t do it to brag. John never got over the fact that Jesus loved him.
We can all have full joy and intimacy with Christ when we invest time with Him. But why do fifty things run through our minds when we kneel to pray? Why does the phone ring or someone knock at the door when we try to pray? Why do we crawl into bed at night and mumble an apology for neglecting the Word of God that day? (This happened to me two days ago.) We never arrive. We have to continue striving.
Jesus doesn’t hide joy from us like the Easter bunny hides eggs or parents hide Christmas presents. No, He wants to shower us with joy.
In his Gospel, John penned the words Christ spoke to the disciples (and to us) in the upper room: “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:22-24 NKJV).
Jesus wants us to have the full joy that John wrote about. If we turn the page to the next chapter, we find Jesus praying to His Father, asking that we (believers) may have His joy fulfilled in ourselves (John 17:13).
It amazes me that Jesus desires for me to have His joy. Not the joy of the world but His divine joy! Does this excite you, too?
Jesus wants so little in return. He wants to spend time with us, which is just as amazing. Can you believe the Lord of Lords wants to spend time with us?
However, Satan works overtime creating distractions and interruptions when we try to spend precious time with our Savior. So, we must commit to guarding our time to overcome the daily distractions.
Friends, pull up a chair and bring your empty cup. Jesus stands ready to fill it with joy as you commune with Him.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Carolyn Dale Newell is a speaker and the author of five books, including her series, Guide Dog Tales, where she includes devotionals just like this one. Carolyn knows what it is to live with blindness, but she calls her disability a gift from God. She shares her stories of vulnerability and conquered fears in a vast buffet of topics suitable for retreats or conferences. She is accompanied by her beautiful guide dog, Iva, a black lab who is adored by all. Carolyn resides in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband, Tim. She loves reading, pizza, and discovering new independence with Iva. You can connect with Carolyn on her website, https://amountainoffaith.com/.
Join the conversation: Where are you on the joy scale today? Why?