3 Ways Joy Can Sustain Us In Difficult Times



“The Bible teaches that true joy is formed in the midst of the difficult seasons of life.”

– Francis Chan

No One Can Rob your Joy

The joy that Jesus gives is not something that we should be losing. Jesus said “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). What “things” was Jesus just speaking about? Jesus just told the disciples, who were crushed by the knowledge that Jesus was about to go away and the things He had just said were that “you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10) so just “as the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15:9). If we abide in His Word, the Bible, then He will abide in us and where Jesus abides, there also abides true joy and not the temporary joy that the world gives.

Looking Ahead

Jesus was looking ahead or past the cross to be able to experience such horrendous suffering and torture and the author of Hebrews advises us “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:1b-3). Jesus looked at the joy set before Him or that lay ahead of Him and that allowed Him to endure the shame of the cross and the scorn of sinful men. If we live with the end in mind, we will more likely hold onto that joy.

Suffering Gives Joy Meaning

If we had never known suffering, we would never know joy because we wouldn’t have the perspective or the contrast between the two. None of us have “yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Heb 12:4). Jesus seems to be telling the disciples to not have anyone rob their joy by saying “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22). Jesus indicates that He will see them again and by extension He will see us again too so if we keep this in mind we cannot lose our joy. Let these verses resonate in your heart so that your joy will remain for He promises, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2-3). No amount of suffering should rob us of the knowledge that Jesus is preparing a place for us right now…and He will come again for us someday. What a joyful message that is.

Conclusion

Jesus spoke these words to the disciples and He speaks to us today in His Word that our joy might be full, that for the joy that lay ahead for us all is a joy that can sustain us in this evil, present world and that He is going to come again for us someday. Nothing can rob us of this precious knowledge.

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