That your joy might be full

By Pastor Samuel Obafaiye, —-
There are several passages in the scriptures that speak about fullness of joy. God does not just want us to experience joy, but He wants us to be full of joy. This message is to challenge us further in order that our joy might be full.

John 15:11
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Jesus had spoken to the disciples about abiding in His love and that by keeping His commandments, their joy will be full.

John 16:24
Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Again Jesus told the disciples that if they asked His Father anything in His name, those things will be done, and their joy will be full.

1 John 1:4
And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
John was writing that the understandingly of Jesus being the Word of life, and having fellowship with God through Jesus Christ does bring a fullness of joy.

In Psychology, we are taught that one could derive happiness in three ways:
Be engaged in doing something;
Be engaged in loving someone; and
Be engaged in looking forward to something great.

Interestingly, the scripture corroborates this as there are instances in the bible we can refer to which leads to joy because of these three ways.

Engaging in doing something
As Christians we can derive joy in what we do. There are certain deeds that bring joy to our hearts.
The bible tells us that Jesus was taking for a census in His province by His earthly parents, on their way back, He was found to be missing. After three days journey, His parents had to go back to Nazareth to look for Him. Surprisingly, He was found in the Temple, listening, to, asking and answering questions from bible scholars!
When His parents told Him how they had suffered looking for Him, His answer to them was remarkable.

Luke 2:48-49
And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

Jesus was having joy in what He was doing, at twelve years old, to the extent that He wasn’t perturbed about His parents’ absence for three days! Do you derive joy in what you are doing?
Do you know that you can be a brother of sister of Jesus? Will that make you joyous?

Matthew 12:46-50
While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

How about if you are able to do the sort of things Jesus did when He was on the earth. Will that not bring you joy?
John 14:12
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

All these afford us the opportunity to be joyful. What God does not want us to do is to be idle.
Matthew 20:6-7
And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day? ’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us. ’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too. ’
What are you doing in the Lord’s vineyard? Your earthly and eternal joy is attached to it.

2 Timothy 4:5
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.
Whosoever fulfilled his/her ministry will certainly be joyous. Paul was joyous as he completed his ministry. He knew a crown was waiting for him.

The bible says there is joy before the angels of The Lord for a sinner that repents. The truth goes further to say that the person that made that possible will be a tree of life, and such a person will remain wise (Prov. 11:30).
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever wins souls is wise.

Engaging in loving someone
Love can be very intoxicating. Those who are in love are extremely joyous when they are together. The bible tells us who to love so we can be joyful.
God is love; He also demonstrated His love to us by sending His Son to die for us. While we were yet sinners, God commend this love towards us (1 John 4:1-19).
If we love God back, we would have tremendous joy. This love must be shown by the whole of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
We must also love our neighbours as ourselves. Extend the love of God to someone and you will certainly derive great joy in doing so.

Engaging in looking forward to a greater future
One of the greatest weapons of joy is hope of a greater future. Those who have lost hope become sad, but those with hope thrive in joy. There are several things embedded in the scriptures that a child of God should look forward to:
Mansions (John 14:1-3)
A time of no sickness, pain or sorrow
An opportunity to see Christ face to face
1 John 3:2-3
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Privilege to be residents of the New Earth
Opportunity to meet the old saints
Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
1 Peter 1:8
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,

In the letter of Paul to the Philippians, there were more than sixteen times where the word joy or rejoice is mentioned. Apostle Paul was admonishing and urging the Philippians to rejoice always in The Lord. Interestingly, Paul wrote this letter in a Roman prison! The security was serious, with chains tying Paul with Roman soldiers, so he would not escape like it happened before (Acts 16:25-34).

With cold, poor feeding, possible beating, no sun rays, etc. Paul still taught that Christians should seek resounding joy in The Lord. This was so because Paul had found something meaningful and rewarding to do; he had found Whom to love; and he had a hope of been with Christ in Heaven.
How about you? What do you derive joy from? Labour for the joy that will not perish today.

Almighty Father, please guarantee my fullness of joy.
Almighty Father, arrange everything in life to give me resounding joy.
Almighty Father, help me to find something to do for you; help me to love you and my neighbour; and help me to earnestly look forward to your coming.

Sermon delivered on the 17th of November, 2013 at RCCG EFA York.

Article by RCCG EFA YORK