Devotion for July 2, 2018

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” – John 15:11

It is to this end that we must celebrate that Christ holds fast to us. That he holds fast to our whole heart and soul, mind and body. Our joy is full when the Son joyfully presents us to our Heavenly Father in celebration. He shields us so that no calamity may befall us, that the Devil may not oppress us or snatch us from His hand. It is His work that breathes joy into all of our struggles and brokenness so that despair may have no place in our heart.

Jesus never tells us that life in relationship with him, that is saving faith, will be a life without struggle or suffering. In fact, He tells us the opposite! He tells us the world will hate us and war against us because we have the joy of Jesus! This is why it is important for us to remember and celebrate that just as Christ defeated sin, death, and the devil on the cross, so we too will forever be more than triumphant having received the victory of Easter in the waters of our Baptisms!

The only alternative to the Joy of Jesus is the happiness of the world. There are times, for sure, that the happiness of this world is very enticing! There are times when we are sinful fallen Children of God are tempted to give in and devote our lives to acquiring and pursuing the happiness of this world as the ultimate good!

As Christians we don’t reject the good things of the world but we definitely know that the good things of this world are only a blessing if they serve us in the right capacity. That is, they serve us but without us ever serving them. They must not and cannot replace or even challenge the rightful priority and spot that only belongs to Christ and the saving Joy that He give to us.

Prayer: Lord God Heavenly Father, please continue to establish your Joy in our hearts. Guard and protect us from this day forth and forever more! That we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, Amen.