Connect, Lead, Equip: Spread the Truth about How to Have Joy
The key to having joy in life begins with being connected to the source of joy.
John 15, Jesus talks about having a fruitful life. It is real life; life that works and is fulfilling. The key to this real, fruitful life, is our relationship to Him. He describes it like the relationship between a vine and its branches. The branch doesn’t have life on its own. Its life source is the vine to which it is attached.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me,” (John 15:4, NIV).
When Jesus speaks about “remaining” in Him, He is describing being in relationship with Him. Relationship with Jesus Christ is established when we believe in Him as our Savior and Lord.
We Become a “Branch” on the “Vine” When:
- We recognize that we don’t have the life God wants us to have.
- We realize that we have failed to live as He intended us to live.
- We acknowledge that failure (sin) has disconnected us from God.
- We understand that the only way to get connected to God and get on track with His plan and design for our lives, is to believe that Jesus is the bridge to bring us to God.
- We receive Him as our Savior, trusting Him, not ourselves, or anyone or anything else, to forgive us and cleanse us from our failure (sin), and to give us the eternal life God wants us to have.
When we do that, then we get connected to God. We become a branch that is “in Christ.” We enjoy a relationship with Him. Jesus talks about that relationship in the first ten verses of John 15 and then says in verse 11, “I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
Jesus is our joy-giver! Joy is rooted in a relationship with Him.
Real life is life as God designed it. He intends for us to be joyful. It is life as Jesus lived it – He lived joyfully. And it is life as produced in us by the Holy Spirit.
“When the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce… joy….” (Galatians 5:22, NIV).
That’s why joy is internal. It comes from within as the Holy Spirit is at work to produce the real life qualities of Jesus in us. Joy is not experienced by our direct determination to “get joyful.” Joy is fruit. We don’t get fruit by the direct action of putting it on a branch. We don’t pick up an apple and glue or tie it on an apple tree. Fruit is produced as a result of the branch being vitally connected to the tree and the life of the tree flowing through the branch so that it does what it was designed to do, produce fruit.
In our lives, joy is produced when we focus on our spiritual connection to our life source – Jesus Christ. Take some time to consider where you find your joy? How is your relationship with Christ? What adjustments need to be made so that you can be in constant communion with the joy giver?