Full Joy

 

One of the chief elements of the abundant life is fullness of joy, which is an outgrowth of abiding in the true Vine. Jesus says in verse 11, "These things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."

 

God wants us to be consumed with joy, but few Christians are. Churches have many people who are bitter, discontent, and complaining. Some people think the Christian life is monastic deprivation and drudgery--a bitter religious pill. But God has designed it for our joy. It is when we violate God's design that we lose our joy. If we abide fully, we will have full joy.

 

When David sinned, he no longer sensed the presence of God. He cried out in Psalm 51:12, "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation." He had allowed sin to hinder the pure abiding relationship. He did not lose his salvation, but he lost the joy of his salvation.

 

That joy returned when he confessed his sin and accepted the consequences of it. His guilt was removed; he returned to a pure, unhindered, abiding relationship; and his joy was made full again.

 

The joy of abiding in the true Vine is unaffected by external circumstances, persecution, or the disappointments of life. We can experience the same joy Jesus had. And his joy flows through those who abide in him.