February 27


"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:11, NIV).

Like a sparkling gem, the word, joy, decorates the Bible with more than 200 appearances. The portrait of Jesus as the joy giver describes Him as the source and the giver of genuine joy.

There is something distinctively Christian about the word joy. It is that satisfying sense of spiritual and emotional well-being that the Christian experiences regardless of circumstances. Those who possess this brand of joy can experience it in pleasure or in pain, in failure or in success, in prosperity or in adversity, in trial or in triumph. Someone has beautifully said that "Joy is the flag that is flown from the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there."

The angelic announcement at the nativity was "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people" (Luke 2:10, NIV). The enduring quality of the joy that Jesus gives is illustrated by the manner in which He approached His cruel death on the cross. Just hours before the agony of Gethsemane and Calvary, Jesus gave His upbeat pep talk to the disciples. "These things," He said, "I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11, NKJV).

The joy that Jesus gives is the second fruit in the exquisite cluster of the fruits of the spirit (see Galatians 5:22). This joy is not boisterous laughter or frivolous excitement caused by shallow, worldly pleasures. It is an abiding, life-sustaining joy that finds lasting pleasure in unselfish service to humanity, gives daily victories over self, and has the knowledge of sins forgiven. "This joy is Christ's joy, and every soul who partakes of it has his joy full. Again and again we may drink of this fountain of joy, and rejoice in it, knowing that no other joy can bear any comparison to it."--Review and Herald, February 13, 1894.

My Prayer Today: Lord, thank You for giving me the joy of salvation. You are truly the good news of great joy. Amen.