Jesus Prays that His Joy will be Made Complete in Us (Day 21 of the Resurrection)

A few versions to engage with one scripture:

I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy (NLT).

I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. (NIV).

I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves (NRSV).

I pray that they will experience and enter into my joyous delight in you so that it is fulfilled in them and overflows (TPT).

John 17:13b

Jesus also spoke about this full joy back in John 15 when He talk the disciples about abiding in the Vine.

As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete (John 15:9-11).

I was up in the middle of the night pondering this last part of Jesus’ prayer for us that we will engage with. I remembered the scriptures that say, “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2). I wondered, “What was Jesus’ joy?” Some things came to mind.

- The joy that He would bring in the resurrection, not just for Himself but for us!

- Conquering death

- Joining us as one with Him, the Father and the Spirit

- Removing the need for sacrifice

- The joy of thinking of all believers having the Spirit living inside of them

- The love between believers that would be possible

- His kingdom literally living inside of us, shaping us and impacting our world

Of course, there is much more joy that He would have, many more things that would be accomplished through His living for the Father’s will. But I looked at these and I was struck that they truly aren’t anything to do with circumstances. I knew that but you know…

I knelt down and confessed to God how much I need the Holy Spirit to let THIS joy be full in me. These things that brought Jesus joy are to be my sources of joy. That’s not where I am at. Then I confessed that I cannot sense a hunger and thirst for the Spirit – Whom I know is the only One who can make this joy a fresh reality in my life. I have been there and tasted many times before, but I think much sorrow has made the path towards this joy murky.

I have decided that I would join a friend in fasting from a lot that is what we would term as “unclean eating.” For me, that is the chocolate chips I keep in the baking drawer, crackers, carbs, sweets, etc. I don’t want to do this with the thought that I can earn a fresh hunger and thirst (and filling) but I want to engage in a spiritual practice that will help me participate in what God longs for me to know…His joy full in me. It’s three weeks before I lead our prayer retreat called “Fall Fresh on Me.” For these three weeks, when the chocolate chips call to me, I want to turn from them and pray, “Oh Christ, make me aware of my hunger and thirst for a fresh filling of the Spirit…increase my desire as I journey towards my own Pentecost 2021.”

Prayer Exercise:

Read the scriptures and listen to Jesus pray His desire for you to have His joy.

Be honest about where you are at in experiencing this joy.

Are you aware of anything that is blocking it? Or are you just weary or grieving? (That is okay, you aren’t a failure for being weary or grieving!)

Talk to God about it all. Listen to hear if there is some spiritual practice that could help you towards this prayer of Christ’s becoming a fresh or new reality for you. It can be as simple as asking each day for Christ to bring this joy to your heart.

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