Posted On November 28, 2018

John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

Most of you reading this have never met me, but I used to be quite the scrooge during the holidays, especially Christmas. At the time it never felt intentional or overt. I did not walk around thinking about how to steal people’s joy during this season, although I’m sure I did. But I certainly did not have joy during the holiday season. Then it clicked. For full disclosure, it coincided with our oldest daughters first Christmas. My family loves Christmas, they always have, and all of my daughters have that same love. But for Carson’s first Christmas I began to have joy and to love this season. What changed? I began to see who it was all about. Christ. This time of year and the whole year is about Christ. And when we know Christ, we can have joy during the holidays, we can know His joy.

Jesus wants us to experience joy. Have you ever thought about that? This is important to Him. In what we call the Upper Room discourse Jesus gives His final lesson to His disciples, His parting words. Much of it concerns the coming Holy Spirit. Jesus will die, be raised again, and ascend to the Father and this was for their good. Jesus would send another helper to them, the Holy Spirit, a helper of the same kind as Jesus.

In this section of Scripture (John 14-16) we have the familiar passage of Jesus being the true vine and His disciples being the branches (John 15:1-5). At the end of this section, Jesus tells them why He spoke these words, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).

There are two phrases that jump off the page.

  1. That Jesus’ joy might be in His disciples.
  2. That Jesus’ disciple’s joy might be full.

Jesus, through His words, gives joy to His disciples. Many times, we lack joy because we are not taking in the words of Christ. Jesus wants His followers to have joy. The words of Christ produce joy. What a joy it must have been for the disciples to hear these words from Jesus. He is telling them He is going to be leaving and going back to the Father, but in the middle of it, He tells them they have His joy in the midst of it all.

When you have the joy of Christ in you, your joy will be full. Jesus doesn’t just give a little bit of joy to His disciples, He gives them the fullness of joy! How can the joy of the Son of God within us be anything less than full joy?

How can you know the joy of Christ this holiday season?

These four actions will help you know the joy of Christ.

Read your Bible. Jesus said He spoke these words to His disciples so that His joy would be in them and that their joy would be full. For the Christian, it is impossible to have joy apart from the word of God. Don’t just read your Bible to get through the passage but read so that you might know Christ. All of Scripture is about Him (John 5:39) and are His words. Read to know Christ from Scripture, and you will experience the fullness of joy.

Meditate on the Incarnation. The second person of the Trinity, the Son of God, came and took on human flesh. Jesus is truly God, truly man. Jesus came on a mission. God the Son condescended to save the people the Father had given to Him. The angel told Joseph, “you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus said in Mark 10:45 that He came to give His life as a ransom for many. Meditate on the wonder of the incarnation this season.

Worship with God’s people. We often think that Jesus came exclusively for individual sinners. And that is true, but it’s not the whole picture. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5 that Christ died for the church. The Christian belongs to a communion of saints. There is joy in the family of God because we are surrounded by people who have the joy of Christ within them. Your brothers and sisters in Christ have the fullness of joy Jesus (John 15:11). This joy is infectious when we are around it.

Read an Advent devotional. There are many good devotionals that focus your thinking on Christ and the joy of being in union with Him. An added benefit is that many of these are meant to be read throughout the Advent season, so the chapters are short which gives you time to think about what you read.

How can you know and experience the joy of Christ this holiday season? Know Christ. Knowing that He is for you and that He wants you to be full of joy. Preach to yourself that the best thing you’ve ever been given is a relationship with God that was purchased by Jesus Christ.

So many of us look for joy in our circumstances. The holidays can be contentious and lack joy. You have to see the angry uncle or the grandmother who is never satisfied with where you are in life. That is not joyful. But even in these circumstances, Christians possess great joy, full joy because it was given to us by Jesus. Jesus has never given His disciples a gift He has taken back. Therefore, enjoy the full joy Christ has given you this holiday season and extend it throughout the rest of the year and the remainder of your life.

Related Posts

Approved Workers

Approved Workers

On today’s Warriors of Grace show, Dave continues the 2 Timothy series looking at 2 Timothy 2:14-21 and teaching Christians the truth and how to handle error correctly, and dealing with false teachers. What you’ll hear in this episode Dealing with false teachers....

Till All Our Strivings Cease: Enduring Exhaustion with Hope

Till All Our Strivings Cease: Enduring Exhaustion with Hope

“I’m so tired.” These words seem to come out of my mouth more and more these days and start off more journal entries than I can count. I feel physically tired, as though no amount of sleep could possibly replenish my energy, as well as emotionally tired. I hear these...

Wild Olive Branches

Wild Olive Branches

Romans 11:16-18, “If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the...

Deborah Howard- HELP! Someone I Love Has Alzheimer’s

Deborah Howard- HELP! Someone I Love Has Alzheimer’s

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave and Deborah Howard discuss Christian friendship and support in and out of the local church, advice for family members and friends with family or friends who have memory loss, the local church, and supporting family members...

When Sinful Comparison Rears Its Ugly Head, Draw Near to Jesus

When Sinful Comparison Rears Its Ugly Head, Draw Near to Jesus

I’d done it again. It was subtle, and neither my husband nor any of our five children sitting in the car with me knew what I had done. That’s how sneaky sinful comparison can be. While reading during a long road trip, right in the middle of a well-crafted sentence in...

The Jews and the Resurrection

The Jews and the Resurrection

Romans 11:13-15, “13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the...

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Roundup of Links 11/26/2018-12/1/2018 - […] Knowing the Joy of Christ During the Holidays by Ben Wilson https://servantsofgrace.org/knowing-the-joy-of-christ-during-the-holidays/ […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share98
Tweet17
Reddit
Email
Buffer