Saturday, August 20, 2011

Complete Joy

"I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." - John 15:11
This is the second time in the last few days that God has given me a verse that ends with "your joy will be complete". Notice He said "joy", not "happiness". What's the difference? Well, for me, joy comes from deep inside, spiritual, lasting. Happiness comes from the outside, worldly, fleeting. Joy is part of having spiritual abundance, not worldly abundance. I could have all of the worldy riches available to me - money, big beautiful house, closet full of beautiful clothes, nice cars, boats, vacations all over the world, etc. - and still be the unhappiest person alive because it's never enough. It's not fulfilling and it can all be gone in an instant. But having all of the spiritual riches available to me - peace, hope, love, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, patience - will bring the deepest joy into my heart and it will be enough. I will be fulfilled and this abundance is always available to me.

So my focus has to change. I want to shift from worrying about my worldly needs and desires to following God's commandments for my life. His will, His desires, His plans, His priorities, His wisdom, His judgement, His Son. Not mine....HIS! And I know that when I seek God's will for my life, because He has promised me so, that I will be filled with a joy so deep and so complete that nothing in this life can take it away from me. I don't want to forfeit my spiritual abundance for worldly abundance. Do you?

Dear God, thank You for the complete joy that is mine through Your Son, Jesus. I ask that You guide me according to Your plan today. Give me Your wisdom and Your courage to keep my focus on You. Show me Your will for me today. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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