“I am coming to you now, but 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
What brings you joy? Typically, we think of activities like fishing, golfing, hiking or reading a good book. We might think of our kids, grandkids or family gatherings. In my playing career, it was the smell of fresh mowed grass, hot dogs roasting, the cheering of the crowds and having success on the diamond. All I just listed are really things that bring happiness.
Happiness and true Biblical joy are two different things. Happiness in our lives is dependent upon situations and circumstances going just the way we want them to. Joy in the Lord is independent from circumstances. Joy is a choice we make regardless of what is currently happening around us.
Jesus understood what true joy was. He knew He would face cruel punishment at the hands of men He created. He would be beaten beyond recognition and suffer the shame of being crucified as a criminal. Hebrews 12:2 says we should be “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.” Jesus chose the joy of being obedient to the Father so that we could experience the joy of salvation in Him.
Jesus wants His followers to enjoy activities, family and favorite pastimes. He prayed, though, that we would choose to be joyful in Him no matter what circumstances we face.
— Mickey Weston, Chicago White Sox chaplain
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