Thrilled you’ve joined me to celebrate A Season of JOY!
We’ll unwrap one joy-filed verse each Wednesday, meant to brighten your holiday season. Sound good?
This week, we’re visiting John 16, where Jesus is talking to His disciples, telling them about the hard days ahead when He must leave them. He knows they’ll be deeply distressed, but promises their pain will turn into joy, comparing the experience to a woman giving birth. (Love this. Never do we move from “Help!” to “Hallelujah!” faster than when we’re in labor.)
Jesus assures His followers that when they see Him again, their hearts will be filled with the kind of joy no one can take away.
Then, He makes this amazing promise:
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24
Sounds like an ironclad guarantee to me.
Our speech is often filled with wishy-washy words like maybe and sometimes and might. But the Lord speaks with authority and power: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20) and “my words will never pass away (Luke 21:33) and “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). My italics, helping us all get the picture.
Gives me goosebumps. The Lord is that sure. Consider what He says here.
“Until now…” John 16:24
“So far” (GW), says the Lord, or “Hitherto” (ASV), for the English majors among us. Fact is, “You haven’t done this before” (NLT).
What haven’t we done?
“…you have not asked for anything in my name.” John 16:24
This means more than adding “in Jesus’ name” at the end of our prayers. The Greek word onomati not only means “name,” it also means, “character, fame, reputation, authority.” He means in His name and all that it represents.
Jesus wants us to ask for things that glorify His name, proclaim His name, shine a spotlight on His name.
I’m fairly certain the things I’ve prayed for lately don’t qualify. They’re all about me or the people I love. Honestly? Focusing on Jesus doesn’t even factor in.
- Please, Lord, ease my brother’s pain.
- Please, Lord, provide a new job for my son.
- Please, Lord, help me finish this book.
These aren’t bad prayers. Not at all. God is simply calling us to go deeper. To seek after the heart of His Son and listen to what He wants for us (not from us).
When our requests are all about honoring Him, we can be very sure of His response.
“Ask and you will receive,…” John 16:24
Not perhaps. Not might. You will receive.
“…and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24
Ahhh. Joy at last. Jesus guarantees us “the fullest joy possible” (ERV), like “a river overflowing its banks!” (MSG). The kind of “abundant joy” (NLT) that makes us “completely happy” (GW).
Beloved, this is way more than a Thanksgiving table covered with delicious food or a Christmas tree with presents piled around it. This is the kind of deep joy, delight, and gladness that comes from knowing Christ and putting Him first.
It’s a complete joy, a perfect joy, a joy that never goes away. A joy based not on what we get, but on Who we bless.
Lord Jesus, You have shown us the path to joy. Now help us walk in it, keeping our eyes on You. Give us the courage to ask according to Your will, in Your name, and for Your fame. This sacred season and always, we’re giving thanks for You.
Kindly post a comment below, sharing something God has revealed to you in this week’s study.
Your grateful sister, Liz