What is the goal of the Christian life? If we believe that Scripture portrays a God who creates people just so they will obey him, and those who refuse will face eternal punishment, then a transforming friendship with Jesus will be unlikely. What we believe regarding the goal of the Christian life determines how we live.
Exposure to Scripture in New Testament times was primarily through hearing it read. The Bible uses various literary styles for easy recall. John 15:7-17 contains Jesus’ statement about joy. Notice the pattern which reverses: the information in the middle is the main point of the writer.
Joy, chara, means “(God’s) grace recognized.” It is the experience of God’s goodness.
The structure of this passage emphasizes that joy is the result of fruitfulness— which means to live out God’s purpose and possibilities. Joy comes from sharing in God’s vision, peace, creativity, courage, and hope at work in our lives. It is independent of circumstance, something we can experience even in the midst of suffering and loss.
This way of being is only possible by Jesus’ life flowing through us. Intimacy.
Intimacy, Fruitfulness, Joy. What would it take for your joy to be made complete?