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April 12 – Jesus’ joy

But now I am coming to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. John 17:13

Scripture reading: John 17:1-13

Jesus prayed that we would have His joy. What does that look like? How are we to understand His joy, much less experience it?

First, Jesus’ joy is a holy joy. It is, if I may put it this way, a “serious” joy. It is not flippant. It is not showy or boisterous. It is not produced. It is the joy that results in being in fellowship with the Father. And that is precisely what Christ has accomplished for us – fellowship with the Father. He has the joy of that fellowship and prays that you and I may have the same joy.

Second, when Jesus speaks of His joy, He is speaking of the joy that comes from Himself. As we’ve already seen, Jesus is the source of all joy. It is impossible to have true, lasting joy apart from Jesus.

Third, Jesus’ joy is a joy completely independent of earthly circumstances. Jesus was about to be crucified and He knew it, but that didn’t affect His joy. He would soon be leaving His disciples in this world full of hatred, anger and murderous intent. Yet, He prayed that they would be more than conquerors filled to overflowing with His joy. And that is His prayer for you and me.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you will be able to know Jesus’ joy in spite of your circumstances. Rejoice that though you were once alienated from God, in Christ you’ve been reconciled.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen is the minister of Coram Deo Reformation Church(URC) in Littleton, Colorado.

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