Week 37 Sunday

A Complete Joy

Today’s scripture selection: John 16-18

Key Verse: John 16:24

“Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be made complete.”

Sometimes, sadly, we can trivialize such profound things.

We take simple, straightforward, powerful, profound statements of Christ and – before you know it – we have minimized them into something far from powerful or profound.

The verse above is an example of this.

Jesus is talking with his disciples about what is possible with God; what is just over the horizon – beyond his death on the cross; beyond the coming of the Holy Spirit.  It seems he is almost chiding them:

“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.  Ask and you will receive….”

But I don’t think his purpose is to chide or belittle.

He wants these friends; these disciples; these whom he is about to
send out in his name – he wants them to step out in pure, unstoppable faith.

And, armed with such faith, he wants to reassure them that so much is possible – not the least of which is their “complete joy.”

How much more wonderful and peaceful our faith walk would be if we would just remember this.  If we could just more often peer past the immediate darkness that obscures our temporary vision – and see all that God’s great providential love and purpose has in mind for us.  And how much more we might experience if we didn’t minimize the idea of “answered prayer” as mere material blessing.

But, too often, we just don’t have that kind of spiritual vision.

Maybe that is at least one reason it was so essential that the Holy Spirit – the Advocate – the Comforter – come in Jesus’ place, so that our eyes – our spiritual eyes – could be opened fully.

And what do we see when we have them wide open?

Joy – pure, unbounded, complete – joy.

Prayer: Holy God, Holy Spirit, open my eyes that I may see.  Open my heart that I may feel the joy.  AMEN.




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