Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 18 - Joy In Hope

John 16:16-24

Today is the last day that I am studying joy. Since my schedule got messed up last week from moving our things from Michigan, I posted one post on Saturday, and I will do it again to get back on schedule with studying one Fruit of the Spirit each week. Thank you for your patience with me last week!

To set up today’s reading, I want to remind you of the Jewish culture Jesus was living in. Jews had to go through a priest to approach God, and the priest had to enter the Holy of Holies to approach God. With that in mind, please read John 16:16-24. Jesus was telling His disciples that He would be leaving soon and going back to be with His Father. He was explaining that they were going to be sad without Him with them, but the world would rejoice. He likened it to childbirth. As a mother of three children and having gone through two very long and difficult labors, it is true that while in labor it is extremely painful. However, when my children were born whether the labor was long or short everything was forgotten when I got to hold my beautiful babies. Jesus said that when He returns, that is what it will be like for us. Our joy will be so great that all our pain here will be forgotten. In fact, in verse 22 He says, “…and no one will take away your joy.” Jesus gave us hope! I know one of the things that got me through the difficult labors was knowing that when it was done, I would have my precious child. We can live life here knowing that no matter how much pain there is, we will someday be with Jesus and have a joy that cannot be taken away!

Jesus then tells His disciples in verse 23-24, “In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” Jesus was explaining the new order. We no longer need a priest here on earth to intercede for us; we can go directly to the Father by asking in Jesus’ name! We have a joy knowing that we have access to the Father and He will give us what we ask in Jesus’ name. The Jews never had this kind of access to God; they always had to go to Jerusalem and go to a priest. We can go into our bedroom and close the door and talk to God. That is an amazing blessing and joy that Jesus opened that door for us! Please read Hebrews 12:18-24. We can ask and receive knowing that we have a God who loves us. That is joy!

Here is one last thought. Please look up Revelation 21:1-5. This is what we have to look forward to! Isn't it a glorious thought? Some day there will be no sorrow or pain!

Do you have joy in the hope of an eternity with Christ? Do you have joy knowing that we have a heavenly Father that loves us so much that He gave us direct access to Him?

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