In prayer this morning, I was meditating on John 15:7 and 1st John 3:22 -23. It fell in with the thoughts I have been having about Joy. In these verses he declares that his legacy for us is the same joy that he himself lives in.
What a wonderful promise! That we will be given his Joy – – we are entitled to it. It is almost too wonderful to believe. Moreover, I have to wonder if we really know how to live in the kind of joy that Jesus is describing here. We are to have joy, he says. It is his desire that we have it. We are, in short, entitled to it. I think it is noteworthy that he hasn’t asked us to do anything except stay close to him and to remember the things that he has taught us and shown us how to do. This Joy he speaks of apparently has to do with living in him, through him, and with him. We aren’t to try to have joy, we are to live with those, “unforced rhythms of grace.” We are free. Freedom is the wellspring of joy. We are to say, as Brennan Manning imagines, “yes, Jesus, I believed in your love and tried to shape my life as a response to it.”