[A preliminary picture and plan.]
The picture God wants each of us to be, might first be described as 'happy'. But His love goes so much deeper, so that 'joyful' might be a better description. To me, joy is a more pure kind of happiness that the world can't provide, and to a large degree, doesn't even understand.Joy reaches down into me – 'where I really live'. That deep joy reassures me that I'm on the right path to greater blessings and favor in God. As we'll see shortly, it's an enduring joy, that survives through the toughest of teenager storms.
To get a better picture of our path from 'puzzled' to 'peace', we should get the right start by learning what the 'pinnacle HOW-TO manual' teaches;that's our Bible – God's precious inspired word. One small verse in the Gospel of John has some simple yet intriguing truths that apply to our search for the life God wants for each of us; for each day of our lives, and eternity too.
The 15th chapter of John, Jesus is teaching us the relationship of the branch and the vine. Jesus is the vine, and we are the little branches. Nestled in verse 11 is our path for what our heartaches for.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
The simple path we are to follow is listed in this verse. Let's take it in pieces.
"These things have I spoken unto you", tells me this is where the roots of joy are. Our joy-roots are in the teachings of Jesus Christ.But more than that, these truths have a delivery address written on each and every one – it's the 'unto you'. Jesus Christ came to this Earth via a smelly stable to deliver joy-roots truths to me and to you, and to that teen that God has placed in your mission field.
That joy that we long for, comes in a package. A package of truths just the right size and shape for each and every one. As we DAILY investigate those joy-roots truths, trusting in them, we DAILY take on the joy of Christ. The 'remain in you' says that this joy will REMAIN in me. It doesn't go away tomorrow, or when I'm faced with a challenge. Oh how I rejoice in the two words – 'YOUR JOY'. His joy now becomes my joy; and it doesn't go away as we DAILY feed on those joy-roots truths.
His joy becoming my joy; that doesn't go away, is more than I deserve or could hope for. But that's just a taste of God's provisions for us replacing the 'puzzle' in our lives with His peace that doesn't go away. But God's word has saved the best for last. It's the 'our joy might be full'. This is so rich, it's almost beyond our description. We'll have to look at this later.
Let's stay focused on our task in all this joy-roots plan. We must DAILY feed on the things He has spoken to each of us.
God has given each of us "braggin' bones." He's given us the desire and ability to brag. Brag to others about Him – you'll never be able to exaggerate!