joy

 

 

The lyric’s significance rushed over me. The words reverberated in my head and grew wildly in my heart as I realized the power within them.

 

“If I have you, I have everything. But without you, I have nothing. If I have you, I have everything, but without you, I have nothing.”

 

And right there, face pressed into the shag of the bedside rug, I laid it all down. Jesus, my everything, even if I have nothing. The nothing represented by loss, sorrow, and void. Dreams that seemed like dust  swept away. Hopes that bore no fruit.

 

But to still have Jesus is joy. As the power of those words rushed over me, I thought of our series on joy and saw how the lyrics supported the idea that joy isn’t a fluctuating emotion, but joy is completed in Jesus.

Jesus Completes Our Joy

 

Prior to knowing Christ, we’re captives to sin. But when we receive Christ, he ransoms us from captivity. “The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 51:11

 

Jesus paid our ransom and gave us new life so that we might return to God. Our heads are crowned with everlasting joy, and as we allow salvation’s gladness to overwhelm us, our sorrow and sighing abate.

 

But as we learn to live this new life, we discover that renewing our mind is a process, and we struggle against sinful behavior because of the battle between the flesh and the spirit that rages inside our heart.

 

And we, like David in Psalm 51, can cry out for a clean heart and we can pray, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” Psalm 51:12

Rescued Joy

 

Jesus completes our joy when he rescues us from a life of eternal separation from the Lord. He took this captive–bound by her sin–and set her free. He can do the same for you.

 

The Old Testament Israelites show us that outward rules and regulations don’t change the heart. Jesus makes a way for hearts to unite with the Father’s. God is joyous. He delights in you and me. He looks upon us with joy, but he’s holy, righteous, and just too.

 

And so Jesus made a way that enabled God to write his heart on our hearts, to complete the joy he has about us in us through Jesus. We don’t have to live our lives separate from God, thinking that salvation comes through what we do.

 

Salvation is God’s free gift through belief in his son. He asks us to believe.

 

Will you believe?

 

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

 

Joy is like the fireworks painting the night on the fourth of July. You anticipate it, but you don’t know exactly when it will happen. You hear the explosion, the sky lights up, and sparkles with the designs of the creator.

 

Salvation’s joy is like that firework display that elicits ooo’s and aah’s and smiles that stretch a mile wide.

 

We’re saved from captivity, ransomed for freedom and joy overflows.

Abiding Joy

 

We believe and then we’re invited to abide. John 15:10-11 states, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandantst and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

 

Abiding takes place as we surrender, submit, and obey the Lord.

 

Imagine a tank of water and standing beside it is someone holding a bolt in one hand and a piece of wood in the other and drops them both into the tank.

 

The bolt sinks. The wood floats.

 

But if the bolt is attached to the wood, the nature of the wood transfers to the bolt and the bolt floats.

 

If we attempt to live this Christian life in our own strength and understanding, we’re like the bolt and we sink. But if we abide in Christ and take on his nature, we float.

The Takeaway

 

Jesus completes God’s joy because he ransomed and saved us.

 

Our joy is complete when we believe and abide in him.

 

Listen to: Always Enough by Kari Jobe

 

 

 

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