It is joy! One only has to check the use of words like joy, gladness and thanksgiving to realize that this is a mark of one close to Christ. It is an inner delight, satisfaction and happiness that is centered on our relationship with Jesus. In His High Priestly prayer in John 17:13, Jesus says this: “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them." Joy is also one of the fruits of the Spirit!
This is not a joy based on circumstances in our lives which change regularly. Rather it is a joy based on relationship with Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is an ongoing posture toward life grounded in the person of Christ who is the source of our joy. No circumstance can rob us of Him (Romans 8) and thus no situation can rob us of His joy.
Why do many believers not experience this ongoing joy in their lives? Simply, they do not stay close to the source of the joy - Jesus. The closer we stay to the source, the more joy we experience. It is also a matter of our focus. I can focus on all the challenges I face, or I can choose to focus on the blessings I have. Living with thanksgiving moves us toward joy, appreciation for the gifts God gives and most important of all gives us the faith that He will continue to be faithful in our lives.
I desire to have the full measure of Christ's joy (John 17:13). Think about that statement - the full measure of His joy! What a way to live and what a gift from Him. We all choose our posture toward life. This choice changes the life equation.
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