“When you obey me, you remain in my love… I have told you this so that… your joy will overflow.” ~ John 15:10-11 NLT
According to Jesus, there is a formula for joy: Joy = obedience + love, or to simplify: Joy is found in loving obedience. I discovered this truth today as I looked up scriptures that highlighted the example of Christ that his “followers” should follow. Jesus was always challenging us with choices that seem way out of our reach and this one definitely is a stretch. We all want to remain in the wonderful, comforting love of the Lord, but coupling it with obedience raises the difficulty factor.
So many times when we walk in obedience we find ourselves questioning the Father’s plan and struggling to embrace joy. Could it be that the elusive emotion is not joy, but happiness? Happiness comes and goes with the circumstances of our lives; but true joy abides and cannot be impacted by the situation we find ourselves in. Knowing that we are loved and held in the palm of the Father’s hand should cause joy to explode in our hearts, no matter where those (physical) hearts may currently be residing.
Dear Father, as I struggle to obey joyfully, please help me to never forget that your never-ending, perfect love is also written into the equation. YOU are love and when I am in You, joy will occur as naturally as the breath I breathe. Thank you for this truth. Please help me to remember it… Joyfully yours, Amen.