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Cross

Christianity
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Joy of the Lord is My Strength

by Dr. George Jacob Ph D.

"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." JOH 15:11.

PHI 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, Rejoice." The root of our joy is in the Benefactor who has given us the robe of righteousness and gives us our crown. The measure of this joy is determined by our daily walk in the footsteps of Christ, and our fellowship and communion with Him as we see in 1JO 1:3b-4, "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." Our fellowship with the Father and His Son gets turned off like a light switch when we start to serve sin, when our heart departs from our heavenly Bridegroom, when our heart becomes set on anything but Him.

The following verses reveal how this fellowship can become so easily broken. 1JO 1:5-7 says, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

Our happiness or success in present circumstances does not measure the joy of Christ spoken of in our text. The joy of Christ is quite independent of these as we see in ACT 16:23-25. "And when they had laid many stripes upon [Paul and Silas], they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them." They had the joy and peace of Christ because what they had suffered was according to the will of God. The peace and joy of Christ are not found in tangible things.

Entering into the joy of our Lord often is best realized when circumstances are the worst. Where you see prosperity in this world, it is often accompanied by spiritual famine. You seldom see a man prospering greatly in the world and spiritually as well. ISA 54:10 says, "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee." The things of this life will all be removed. When circumstances are the most trying, the peace of God is the most precious. During the worst circumstances we are able to give it all into His hands.

The pathway that leads into this perfect peace and joy of our Lord is found as we keep our Saviour's commandments. This is so against human nature. The love of Christ unto His dear children was harmless, innocent, inoffensive, self-sacrificial. Loving one another as He loved us is the fulfilling of the law. ROM 13:9-10 says, "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

The law is not abolished. These verses name the last six commandments. Christ came to fulfill the law in a legal sense, and you and I must fulfill the law in the form of gospel obedience. Right after our Lord Jesus commanded, "that ye love one another, as I have loved you," He went on to qualify the extent of that love. JOH 15:13 says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Our love for God or our neighbor is best measured by the extent of sacrifice we are willing to make to express that love. Abraham loved God so much that he was willing to sacrifice his son. God will bring circumstances to test whether we will pay the price to obey. Christ lay down His life for His friends while they were still at enmity with Him in their heart. ROM 5:6-8 says, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Can we heap coals of love on our brother's head when he is doing evil to us, that we may melt his rebellion and bring him to repentance? This Choice is ours.

See Also:

Walk with God
Do we know Him? There are only two ways: we either walk in rebellion, or we walk with Him. We must be careful that we are not presumptuous.

God's Love
The greatest power in the world is not the Hydrogen bomb, but it is the redeeming love of God. The Hydrogen bomb may destroy the whole world but only the redeeming love of God can make it anew.

Peace in Christ
What is a more blessed subject than to read of the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ remaining in you that your joy might be full?

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