"These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.John 15:11(NASB)
This much-loved passage gives real insight into our position in Christ and reminds us that because we are united to Him by faith, we are to love one another as Christ loved us. We are also to abide in His love and trust His wise purpose for our lives. But we must also realise that we will be hated of all men, because we are His children - but praise God that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
This passage also helps us to understand that God's will and purpose for all of His blood-bought children is that we bring forth much fruit to His praise and glory, and that we experience His joy in our lives. But it also reminds us that the joy of the Lord often comes through much suffering and pain, but we who are united to Christ by faith in Him, have the assurance that His grace is sufficient, for His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Abiding in Christ is often displayed as a service of suffering. But the glorious truth is that those who patiently endure the deepest pain for righteousness' sake, are often those that experience the greatest joy in the Lord. Abiding in Christ and sharing in His suffering produces much good fruit, and is the means to lift us high above the storms of life. The man or woman whose life is a service of suffering, is the one that has been prepared to die to self and live to Christ - presenting their body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto the Lord.
That I may know Christ and the power of His Resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, is the heart cry of all who desire to produce much fruit to the glory of God. The one who is prepared to give up the good for the very best will discover the inner joy of Jesus that is reserved for those that can say from their heart: "The life that I now live in the flesh is not mine to live but Christ Who lives in me." The one who can take up their cross daily, renounce the things of this world, and leave the old self nailed to the Cross, is the one that understands what it means to abide in Christ, to fellowship in His suffering, to bring forth much fruit to the glory of God, and to experience abundant life and fullness of joy.
Christ spoke many things to His disciples so that His love and peace could reign in their hearts and that their joy might be full to overflowing - but the joy of the Lord is often couched in the fellowship of His suffering and pain so that the good purpose of the Lord is fulfilled to their eternal benefit and to the glory of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You that the joy of the Lord is my strength. Help me to abide in You, always, so that I may be joyful, fruitful, and bring much glory to You. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.