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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

The Recipe for Abundant Joy

Ask, using My name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy." - John 16:24 NLT

My toddler grandson, William, loves to draw, so I often lend him some of my mechanical pencils, which seem to be his favorites. Yesterday, one of the pencils he was using ran out of lead, and he began shaking it in frustration. I told him, "Come here, and I will put new leads in your pencil so you can keep drawing." I was busy in the kitchen at the time, and when Will refused to come to me for help, I forgot all about it. This morning, I found that empty mechanical pencil, and I stared at it, thinking about what transpired the day before. Suddenly, I felt a pain in my heart. If my grandson had only come to me for help, I would have supplied him with all the leads he wanted, and I would have rejoiced at seeing the look of joy on his face. Instead, out of ignorance or stubbornness, he neglected to ask for my help, and he had to do without. That's when I got a revelation. How many times has the Lord desperately wanted to help His children, and to provide for them when they had a need or desire, and for whatever reason, they refused or didn't bother to go to Him?

I thought of Jesus' promise in John 16:24 (NLT), which says, "Ask, using My name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy." Talk about an invitation. The King of Kings Himself pleads with His followers to come to Him with their requests, simply so that they can experience the joy of answered prayer, and so that He can bask in their gladness and gratitude. Since I began wholeheartedly devoting myself to the Lord twenty-plus years ago, and studying His teachings in-depth, I've become a world-class "asker". If you spend any time in the Scriptures, it doesn't take long for you to realize how many times the Savior says, "Ask!" The thing that touches my heart most is that the Creator of the universe is not just making a suggestion to His followers, but a heartfelt plea. He knows that asking can make the difference between success and failure, sickness and health, poverty and abundance, and even life and death.

Frankly, I am stunned and dismayed at how many Christians fail to go to God first with their needs and desires. In some cases, they've gone first to friends, family members, or coworkers. Or doctors or banks. These can all be good things, and God can certainly use them to help us, but they should never be our first resort. When we need help of any kind, we should go to the throne, before we go to the phone.

If there were an "asking meter" in heaven, how would you register on it? How about your joy level? Could you be missing out on the "abundant joy" that Christ promises, simply because you don't "ask and receive" as much as you should? Remember the Bible's solemn admonition to you today - "You don't have what you want because you don't ASK God for it." (James 4:2 NLT)

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for failing to ask for Your help, Your healing, or Your provision when I have needed or desired them. Renew my mind and heart so that I will see You as You really are - a too-good-to-be-true God, who desires to bless His children and make their joy overflow. Today, I make a quality decision to begin asking You to supply all my needs, and to give me the desires of my heart, as I give You first place in my life!

- J. M. Farro


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