In this half-Chapter:
16-33: Sadness Will Be Turned to Joy
Holy Spirit’s Joy and Peace:
There are certain things in life that only followers of Jesus will be able to experience. No unbeliever will ever be able to experience these things, because they are things of which Jesus is the only source, and He will only give these things to those who love Him and place their faith in Him as their Savior. These two things are true joy and true peace. We’re not talking “joy” like holiday fuzzies or “peace” like a lack of wars. This is something totally different.
First, Jesus tells His disciples about the joy they will have through Him. He continues to remind His disciples that He will be leaving them shortly, but reassures them that they will be with Him again one day. When this day comes, it will be a day of great rejoicing because they will know that they will never again be separated from Him. Jesus tells them they will have joy, which no one will be able to rob them of.
It seems hard to believe that there is such a joy that would never be able to be taken away from us. How often have you been stoked on something one day and the next it seems like everything is falling apart? Or like some new style that you think is sick but then turns out to be lame…by like next week? Life seems to constantly rob us of our joy. True joy, however, is not found in the circumstances of life, which change every day. This true joy is rooted in the love and security of our Savior, and no one is ever able to take that away.
Another source of joy that the disciples will experience is the joy of answered prayer—knowing that God is watching over them, caring for them, and taking care of their needs. The one condition to having their prayers answered, though, is that God is not some genie in a bottle who would grant their every wish. The key for prayer is praying according to the name and model of Jesus; this means praying according to God’s will and to advance the cause of His Son. If His disciples prayed this way, with their hearts focused on Jesus rather than themselves, their prayers would be answered and their joy would be overflowing.
The other experience that Jesus’s disciples are promised is a life of peace. Jesus’s disciples were about to face some pretty hard times. Like it was said a few chapters ago, the world would hate them for being followers of Jesus. Some of them would go on to be killed for their faith. In the midst of this, though, the disciples would find true peace in Jesus. Philippians 4:7 says that God offers peace in and through His Son.
This true joy and true peace can only be found in a relationship with Jesus.
Our Piece of His Joy and Peace:
How often do we search for temporary joy and peace in life? It is literally our default setting to “wanna have a good time” all the time. We search for whatever will make us happy and cause the least amount of stress, and we commit our lives to it. Being on the hill does offer a sense of this. It is a place where we go to have a blast and escape from the stress of life. However, this feeling is only temporary. The offseason is a testament to that – everybody is fiending so hard to get back on the snow. In fact, every attempt to find joy and peace on this earth is only temporary. These temporary bits of happiness only mask the itch for a little while, like an early jib session on the first snow of the season. The happiness doesn’t last for long.
Jesus is the only place where we can find full, complete joy and peace. A relationship with Him is the only thing that can offer eternal satisfaction for our souls. You see, there is a burning in all of us that longs for greater fulfillment and satisfaction, and we search wherever we can to find it. But, trying to find this satisfaction on earth where everything is temporal—it is here today and gone tomorrow—only leaves us as empty as we started. We look to the created things to bring us temporary happiness instead of to the Creator of all things to bring us eternal joy.
Where are you going to search for joy and peace in life? And how can your SFC community begin to pursue eternal things together?