“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

The joys we experience in life are many and wonderful.  They joy of marriage, births of children, getting a new job or going on a faraway trip make our lives great.  There is one kind of joy, however, that surpasses all others and it is the joy of Jesus.  The Son of God knows a joy that no one else knows.  He knows the joy of creation, the joy of sacrifice, they joy of redemption and the joy of heaven.  Jesus possesses a joy that is unaffected by circumstances, sin, and rejection.  His joy is the confident assurance that the will of God is good and will be done.

In John 15 Jesus describes the joy we can have by living in Him.  As a vine He gives life to us as branches that we might flourish and produce.  Productive lives!  Think of it.  We are scarred and defeated by our sins and failures and Jesus comes to redeem us, restore us and give us new lives.  We surrender our old lives to Him to take from Him His very life.  As a vine gives life and health to its branches we too take His life as our own to live and bear fruit for His kingdom.

But that is not all.  With that life comes the benefit of His joy. All that Jesus is and all that He has is now ours.  His peace, power, love and joy.  The joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10) that allows us to face tests and trials in confidence.  In fact it is this joy we are given that allows us to actually count those trials in “all joy” when they come. (Jas. 1:2)  Jesus had this joy when He endured the cross knowing that through it He would accomplish the Father’s will and our salvation. (Heb. 12:2)  No one can possess this kind of joy but the Messiah and no one can give it to others except Him.  From His life comes His joy that endures when everything else around us is crumbling.

As you light the candle of Joy tonight, rejoice in the Lord constantly for this incredible gift that endures and overcomes everything you face.