Do you remember what it was like to swing on a swing set as a child?
That incredible point in time where you were suspended in air and defied gravity itself?
Would it be great if there was a secret to recapturing that feeling of joy in our lives now?
As adults, we’ve got bills to pay, responsibilities to fulfill, and relationships to maintain. Our responsibilities can sometimes weigh us down, draining us of joy.
But a statement that Jesus made contains an important key to daily joy and fulfillment. This article unpacks what Jesus meant.
Jesus’ Key to Joy
Even in the midst of worldly troubles, Jesus desires that His joy remains in us, His disciples:
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”– John 15:11
And Jesus wasn’t talking about a little joy either – He wants us full of joy!
But what are “these things” Jesus spoke of that would lead to His joy?
Let’s take a closer look at the main key of which Jesus spoke:
In John 15:4, Jesus says:
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
Abiding in the Lord’s Love
Have you ever grown a plant and a branch broke off? What happened to that branch?
Perhaps the branch seemed fine unconnected to its source at first. But soon, the branch began to shrink.
Eventually, the branch withered and died.
I experienced something similar in my own Christian walk after saying the prayer of Salvation.
For those first 9 years, I thought my relationship with the Lord was important only on Sunday morning – at church.
But after church and the rest of the week, I tried to go it alone – leaning unto my own understanding!
I felt like my life was a treadmill – an endless cycle of dry, meaningless activity and destructive habits.
Emotionally, I felt like I was withering away. I tried to revive myself through emotional eating.
It was only when the Lord stepped in and showed me His love in such a personal, powerful way that I was willing to receive His help.
I reconnected to Him and experienced His life-giving nourishment flowing through me immediately.
I’ve felt alive and vibrant in Him ever since.
I am growing in Spiritual fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control daily (see Galatians 5:22-23).
The secret is maintaining that constant connection with the Lord in your daily experience:
- Expressing thanks to Him for the smallest blessings (like green traffic lights when you are in a hurry)
- Asking for wisdom in daily challenges
- Studying His word to come to know His character
- Acknowledging Him in all your ways and expect Him to direct your path
- Sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord
Cultivating the joy of the Lord in your heart not only benefits you, but others around you!
Bearing Spiritual Fruit
In John 15:8, Jesus went on to say:
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
When you remain connected to the Lord, you begin to display His character to others – no matter what is going on around you.
You are happier because you are grateful for all that He does for you.
Let’s face it – life is unpredictable. Our emotions are often turned this way and that in response to circumstances.
But how would you feel if you had confidence that you could handle whatever challenge life threw at you?
It can happen. In fact, that is the reason why Step 1 of the 5-step Take Back Your Temple program exists. That step is “Anchor Yourself in God.”
Jesus said that we cannot bear fruit unless we abide in Him. The fruit that we need to overcome emotional eating and other destructive habits on our weight loss journey is the fruit of self-control.
We all know that willpower does not last for long. I only found permanent success on my own weight loss journey when I gained supernatural strength through my daily relationship with the Lord.
Is this making sense to you?
If you are unhappy in your life, then the status of your daily relationship with the Lord is the first place to look. Do you remain connected or have you disconnected?
Are you abiding in His love daily through keeping His word?
The good news is, the Lord never leaves nor forsakes you. Humble yourself, return to Him, and you will find your joy once again!
Be Blessed with Success,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Many of us learned to stuff our feelings down as children. It either wasn’t safe to express our emotions or we did not know how to manage them.
But now as adults, we don’t have to stuff any more! God gives us the power of choice (agency).
In one of our Zoom monthly members sessions, “How to Stop Stuffing your Feelings” (replay inside the the Take Back Your Temple program), we discussed how to find your voice and manage your emotions in ways that honor God.
Article originally published March 29, 2017; updated June 20, 2021