Full Measure of Joy

These things I speak in the world, that they may have
the full measure of my joy in themselves.”
John 17:13

Stunning to me is the fact that the God of the Universe wants me, ordinary me, to have tremendous joy in this life. With all He has on His mind, God cares about that? Apparently, He does. And it’s not some hum-drum kind of joy, but the full measure of His Son’s own joy —bigger, better, and far more beautiful than mere human happiness. I want some of that.

So where did Jesus get His joy? To understand, let’s look at the context. It’s part of a long prayer that Jesus prayed in John 17 just prior to being taken into custody for crucifixion. I don’t know about you, but I doubt I’d be feeling tons of joy right then. So what is the source and nature of Jesus’ joy? The answer is seen in the opening lines of the prayer: “Father, the hour has come (I’m going to die.); glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You… I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work You have given me to do.”

Boom. There it is. Plain as day. His joy was found in bringing glory to God by accomplishing the work He had given Him to do. It didn’t matter that Jesus’ own hideous torture and death was imminent. In taking stock of His life, Jesus concluded that joy was His in full measure because of how He’d lived and why He lived. And He prays that we will experience the same.

God’s highest good for us is to glorify Him, no matter what we face, by doing the work He’s giving us to do. When we really get that, we will have what Jesus had in full measure, guaranteed. The three concepts are inextricably linked – God glorified, God-given work accomplished, and us satisfied.

It behooves us to figure out what that work is. If you don’t know what good works God has prepared for you to walk in, don’t delay. Dive into Embracing Purpose. And do it with others. They, along with the Holy Spirit, will help you process what you learn, adding tremendous value to the already rich content.