These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11
I see my friends, family, and people across this country frustrated and divided, but I want to share with everyone why it is important to be loving and full of joy during these times and in the future.
In John chapter 15, Jesus speaks to His disciples about love, joy, and the world. Jesus speaks often of "the world", the world is everyone outside of the church and every aspect of man outside of the the Spirit. The Bible tells us everything we need to know about the world. We learn that a man can gain the world and lose his soul (Matthew 16:26), that Jesus is the Light of the world but men prefer darkness because their deeds are evil (John 3:19), and that we are not to love the world or the love of the Father is not in us (I John 2:15). But more importantly to this lesson Jesus says, "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, therefore the world hates you." (John 15:19). When you see evil people on television or the news being idolized and revered and Christians being derided and mocked, remember this. But do not think that I am saying Christians are perfect and or that you should turn your nose up to anyone, Jesus also said to, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). So be joyful to show the world Christ in you, how can you take your anger and frustration with the world into the world and expect to reach the lost lambs of Jesus? Jesus told His disciples in John Chapter 15 to abide in His love and be full of His joy even though the world will hate and reject you. The world is the same now as it has always been, evil men doing evil deeds. Do not get angry with the world, Jesus has already told us, He has overcome it!!! (John 16:33) We need to be joyful also for ourselves. If we walk in the Spirit then we find joy, but not the false joy of the world, "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace an joy in the Holy Spirit".(Romans 14:17). Joy is not being in a good mood or being cheerful, it is spiritual joy from serving God. Christ said to pick up your cross and follow Him, He expects us to follow Him and to make sacrifices for His sake which will bringer us close to Him and closer to the joy that is in us. I can not sum it up any better than in Hebrews, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."(Hebrews 12:2).
You will show me the path of life;
In your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11