Jn.15:11 – These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
I hated reading ‘Fox’s Book of Martyrs’ while in Bible School. I remember stories throughout history of Christians going joyfully to their deaths, often singing and even laughing as they faced their executioners. I was quite disturbed at this for years and really avoided that book. All of that changed for me in the summer of 1994. In a moment of time I understood. What was the change ? I tasted supernatural joy for myself. I was visited by waves of unexplainable joy. Joy came when I worshipped, it came when I read my Bible, it even came upon me in my sleep and in my dreams. I was filled with joy when preaching, singing, and especially when praying for others. Jesus told the disciples that they would be filled with overflowing joy when the Holy Spirit came upon them. That’s what today’s verse is about. John 15 is part of Jesus great teaching on the coming of the Holy Spirit He delivered to His disciples on the last night He spent with them. Supernatural joy sustained those early Christians even to death. Here are some thoughts from A.B. Simpson on the joy of the Lord.
“There is a joy that springs spontaneously in the heart without any external or even rational cause. It is like an artesian fountain. It rejoices because it cannot help it. It is the glory of God; it is the heart of Christ; it is the joy divine of which He says, These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. And your joy no man can take from you. Those who possess this fountain are not discouraged by surrounding circumstances. Rather, they are often surprised at the deep, sweet gladness that comes without apparent cause-a joy that frequently is strongest when everything in their condition and circumstances would tend to fill them with sorrow and depression. It is the nightingale in the heart that sings at night because it is its nature to sing. It is the glorified and incorruptible joy that belongs with heaven and anticipates already the everlasting song.”
No wonder Jesus said to rejoice when you are persecuted for His Name. He said when that happened the Spirit of glory would rest on us. This supernatural joy is part of what happens when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Remember, the Holy Spirit is infinite. That means that no matter how much you have received of Him there is always more; more than we can ever imagine.