The Fruit and The Vine: COUNT IT ALL A JOY I

The Fruit and The Vine: COUNT IT ALL A JOY I

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”  John 15:11 (ESV)

Count it All Joy

I’ll have to admit that at one time the word joy didn’t measure much on my masculine scale. I couldn’t find myself saying, “This bowl of chili brings me such joy” while I was watching a football game but after spending much time in the 15th chapter of John’s Gospel…if Jesus could use it well why not I. When we look at the 11th verse Jesus truly conveys that He wants them to seriously take abiding in Him as joy and not just a walking off the street kinda joy but a full, complete joy. It’s about Him being the vine, His disciples branches; His abiding in them and they in Him, their fruitfulness from Him, and perseverance in Him, His love to them, and theirs to Him.

And the night Jesus spoke these words to His disciples was a very tangible night for them as they could see, hear, smell and touch the Savior. As for us it is different, in 1Peter 1:8 we read, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” So this fruit of joy is definitely evidence of faith in the believer, hearer and doer of The Words of Jesus Christ. And it is The Masters hope that this fruit be found full in us for all of Secularland to see. And yet I have my times where that fruit remains hidden beneath the branches and leaves…<heavy sigh>

So during my search for what God’s Word would have to say about joy I found out about six places where we can have joy. So here goes the first three…

  1. Joy in Trials (James 1:2-12) Jesus tried to teach us to be joyful under troubles and trials because they would brighten His Father’s grace in our lives. And why not want wisdom to guide us under trials? Aren’t there times where you may have said, that which does not kill you only serves to make you stronger? “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)
  2. Joy in Weakness (2 Corinthians 12:1-10) Paul gives an account of the method God took to keep him humble, and even though we are not told what this thorn in the flesh was, it was used to prevent his being lifted up above measure, on account of the visions and revelations he had. You see, when we are weak in ourselves, we can become strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing wrong to feel that we are weak in ourselves, as long as we go to Christ to receive strength from him. Anything less is just…eternally useless. “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor 12:9)
  3. Joy in God’s Word (Psalm 119:9-16, 105-112) God’s word is treasure worth lying up safely in our hearts. And those whose hearts are fed with that very bread of life should be able to speak those very words with their lips so as to feed many. Like one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. We also need to keep our lamps filled with the Spiritual oil that comes from His Word. Secularland is a dark place so we need to light it up for those who fumble around can get on the pathway and join us in the covenant of God’s grace. “I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to Your word! Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me Your rules.”—Psalm 119:107-108

So that’ll do it for today. I hope you’ll join me for the last three in my next installment on the subject of joy. I also hope that, like me, you keep on pressing to maintain a vertical understanding of joy and not what’s on the horizontal…that will only lead to destruction. Amen?  Chris Hughes is a lover of Jesus and his family and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger. He is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 28-29

Think About This: “I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy”—C.S.Lewis

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:16-17 NKJV

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