“…I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” John 17:13
Keeping happy is about as easy as nailing jelly to the ceiling! Once attained, it seldom lasts. The more we seek happiness, the more it eludes us. Its like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. One study asked people “Are you happy?” Most said that they weren’t, but that they would be in the future. When interviewed a few years later, they again answered: “I’m not happy now, but I will be in the future”.
Happiness depends on happenings. And it’s often hard to get things to happen to us as we’d like.
Jesus spoke of another quality. Something, which is not dependent on happenings. It’s joy. Joy is a deeper quality, one which depends not on events, but on relationships which delight.
So where does this “full measure of my joy” come from? Just before the quote above, Jesus assures the disciples that they belong to God. He had made them His own, and He will never abandon them. Joy came from belonging to God, and God was the source of their joy. Their joy then, like God, is not fickle, or dependent on happenings.
It begs the question: “how can we belong to God? If joy is found in God, then how can I enter into relationship with Him?
We need to confess our need for God’s forgiveness. None of us has loved God with all our heart, soul and mind; and we haven’t loved others as much as have loved ourselves. For many of us, God has largely been ignored, given only the occasional thought, and prayed to when we need help. Treating God this way is what the bible calls “sin”. It’s a little word with big consequences, since God will one day judge sin and sinners.
However, God loves us and sent Christ to take the punishment we deserve. When Christ dies, He takes my place. You need to turn from your sin, and cast yourself on the mercy of Christ. Ask Him to forgive you, and put you in a right relationship with God. Then turn your life over to God; submit to His rule.
The joy He gives will surprise you!