Weekly Devotional: Complete Joy

Joyful little boy sledding in the snow

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” — John 15:11, NIV

Galatians 5 lists joy as the second fruit of the Spirit. Joy is a word that most people have probably heard at one point or another; however, not everyone understands the concept of joy or knows what it’s like to experience complete joy. As Christians, our joy is not found in our possessions or accomplishments; rather, it is found in our Savior, Jesus Christ.

What Is Joy?

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” — Psalm 16:11, NIV

You may be wondering, “What is joy?” Many people confuse joy with happiness or an intense feeling of excitement. The Bible, however, emphasizes not happiness but joy. Joy is richer than happiness or excitement. Happiness can easily shift with a person’s mood and circumstances. Joy, on the other hand, does not depend on our feelings toward our situation, and thus, it is not easily shaken. In fact, joy is about how we chose to respond and the attitude we have.

Joy to the World: Our Greatest Joy

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” — Philippians 4:4, NIV

So where should we find our joy? We can find complete joy only in God. In many instances, the Scriptures direct us to find joy in our hope in God. For example, Psalm 16:11 mentions finding joy in God’s presence, Philippians 4 instructs us to rejoice in the Lord, and in John 15, Jesus tells us that He gives His complete joy to us.

It is important to cultivate joy in our lives, even when we are not feeling happy. This does not mean we should fake or hide our emotions. Instead, it means that we can chose to pursue Jesus and the joy we can find in Him in all of our circumstances.

Our relationship with Jesus is our greatest joy. He gave His life for us so that we could have a relationship with Him. He gives us complete joy, which we simply cannot find apart from Him. His joy is a gift that we can choose to accept and pursue no matter where we are in life and no matter our situation.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” — Romans 15:13, NIV

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.