“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Matthew 2:10
In preparation to write about joy this week, I did a simple search for “joy complete” and found several scripture references that touched my heart. You see, of all the fruit of the spirit, I find that joy is the one I have in least supply. I actually think joy is the most illusive one on the list, probably because it is impossible to fake. If you don’t have joy, you know it. You can tell yourself you have peace or love in your heart and build a case for it, but joy is so self-evident that if it requires an explanation or defense, it ain’t joy.
All the passages my search yielded were from the New Testament, and if you think about it, that makes sense, considering that the Old Testament was a foreshadowing of things to come that were fulfilled to a large degree in the New Testament. In John 3:28-29 John the Baptist proclaims that his joy is now complete because the bridegroom, Jesus, has come and he hears his voice! He had lived his life convinced of His coming, and then to see and hear him completed his joy!
In 2 John 1:12 John the apostle writes that to see his friends face to face who also abide in the truth would complete his joy. Again, to see someone in the flesh, someone anticipated, someone loved, brings joy! There is a component of faith when we see the star, when we anticipate the bridegroom, when we abide in the truth that produces joy when the promise is fulfilled in the flesh.
Paul writes in Philippians 2:2 that his joy is made complete by the union of the saints in the same mind and love of Christ. John the apostle says something similar in 1 John 1:4 when he talks about the saints having fellowship with him, the Father and the Son completes his joy. Jesus says the same thing in John 15:11, when he discusses the necessity of abiding in him and in the Father’s love:
These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be full.
In this season where I am still following my star, I take great encouragement from the fellowship of like-minded friends who abide in the truth (and there have been times when I did not have this). But to be honest, I am still very much a work in progress when it comes to abiding in Jesus and in the Father’s love. I believe, but I also know my heart. BUT! I have another star I can follow in this promise, that the one who seeks, finds. And I am nothing if not a seeker…
Ah, life: of all the weeks for me to have to write about joy! When a couple of stars I was following turned out be only man-made lights in the night sky, airplanes or satellites or something. But there are still true stars, true promises. I found Psalm 4 this week:
There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?” Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord! You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
I trust you, Father. Let it be. Amen. ~ Joni
Your Turn: What stars are you following right now? Do you experience the joy that comes with abiding in God’s love often, sometimes, infrequently, never? Do you desire this more than you have now? Do you believe that in seeking, you will find? ~ Breath on Paper