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The John 15:11 Challenge

Friday, September 18, 2009

The John 15:11 Challenge

These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:11 (NASV)

I challenge you to ask yourself what does this verse mean to you? I find it interesting to take a step back and look at how I tend to perceive/translate the word of God. So many times I will relate “joy” to what I feel during the events surrounding my life. But is that really the “Joy” that God talks about? I sure hope not. Because how many times has that “joy” turned into sadness, anger, depression, fear, or hopelessness. All of these feelings might not come at once or even under the same circumstances, but we have all felt them at one time or another. Are you tired of living in your own created “joy”? I know I am. It’s a process that I have to continually rely on God to overcome. I stopped looking at the situations in my life to define how I feel and act. I even stopped creating solutions within my life that would bring me “joy” and meet my needs. This is more of a challenge than one might think. Whether life is amazing or it is a struggle at the moment, it is vital to live life connected to God. It is in my opinion that God should be the main source of our fulfillment. So it is in God’s hands and His hands alone that I choose to turn to and receive “Joy”. The funny thing is God’s way is so much simpler. I simply get out of the way and let Him do what He does best.

One way that I get in the way is that I will look to actors, bands and other forms of entertainment as a place to find “joy”. And as much as I hope that my music and entertaining antics bring a level of “joy” to everyone’s life, I challenge you to never allow it to replace God’s pure “Joy”. Entertainment as a whole isn’t bad it just shouldn’t replace our need for God’s “Joy”. When we replace God’s “Joy” we start to loose the strong foundation that life in God provides. Our life begins to feel shaky and we struggle with the things that before, were so easily conquered.

So what does God’s “Joy” really look like? For that question to be properly answered it is a must that you turn to the Bible. God’s “Joy” is so multi faceted that there isn’t just one definition. In Galatians 5:22 “joy” is described as one of the fruits of the Spirit. So to begin, “Joy” is a product of God. In James 1:2 “Joy” is what we are recommended to consider when we face trials within this life. Simply put “Joy” is our security when things in this life prove difficult. 2 John 1:12 speaks about “Joy” as a face to face relationship, a pure communion between to like-minded believers. Needless to say the Bible mentions the word “joy” 242 times so one has to note that this is a subject that is dear to God’s own heart. So I challenge you embrace God’s “Joy” and learn to live in it.

God has nothing but great things for you and me. He believes in you more than you can ever imagine. Trusting God to provide “Joy” should be the easiest thing we do. The sad part is it is not always the natural thing to do. We have all been trained one way or another to trust on our physical circumstances. That’s why I want to leave you with this, that you strive to truly let God’s “Joy” be in and through you. Simply start relying on God to provide for your needs and focus your attention on him and off of your issues at hand. I encourage you to stop looking at man made “joy” to bring you fulfillment and find out what God’s “Joy” is really like. Till we see you at our next show, may God bless you and keep you!


Jon Haire

MIKESCHAIR (bassist)

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