The Secret to Finding Complete Joy

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:9-11

Seven years ago my husband and I bought our first home. We were ecstatic. Our very own home!

The day we finally received the keys was a day of sheer joy and excitement. We didn’t have much furniture at the time, but we could have slept on the floor that night–we were just happy to have a house to live in. A place to call our own.

Jesus gives us the secret to living a joy-filled life that far outweighs any temporal, material possession. The secret to a life that is full, rich and complete. Complete is defined as having no deficiency. Lacking nothing; to be full and whole (source). Do you want the complete, ever-abundant, overflowing, refreshing joy of Jesus?

Listen closely.
Here is the secret:
Live in the love of God.

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The Greek word remain or abide in John 15:10 is the same word for live expressed in 1 John 4:16. It means to stay in a place, to dwell, to be present (source).

To live.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.
1 John 4:16

John urges us in this passage to dwell in the unending, unchanging love of God.

Remain in him. Abide in him. To make him our permanent place of residence.

When we wrap ourselves in the garments of Christ’s love, our lives are complete in him.  Our joy will be pure; without blemish or defect; completely fulfilled.

This doesn’t mean that we will never experience pain or suffering. But in the midst of trying circumstances,
Live in the love of God.
His joy will still be there, and his joy will be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

The book of James has the audacity to encourage us to consider our trials and sufferings joy. Is this really possible?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…
James 1:2

Can joy and trials truly live together in the same sentence?
The answer is a resounding yes.

How?

Live in his love.
Hold fast to him, and you can experience inexpressible joy even in the midst of deep sorrow.

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…because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:3

When we clothe ourselves with Christ and chose to remain in his dwelling place, we will stand firm during turbulent trials. The garment of perseverance is woven within the tapestry of our hard work, sweat, tears…and prayers.

The result is a beautiful garment laced with the refined gold of growth, maturity, and completeness.

If your faith is being tested in the refiner’s fire today, stand steady and firm.
Live in his love.
Stay inside the warmth of his embrace, hidden behind the garments of his abounding grace.
Dwell in his love, and you will experience a joy you never dreamed possible.

A joy that is unwavering, perfect, and complete.

…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6

How are you remaining in God’s love? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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Find the secret to finding complete joy by understanding one simple word: abide.

 

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