All the Joy You Need

"...your joy will be complete" John 16:24

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.

In His name

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.

"You will fill me with Joy..." Psalm 16:11

Kindly post a comment below, sharing something God has revealed to you in this week’s study.
Many thanks!

Your grateful sister, Liz
Your sister, Liz Curtis Higgs BibleGateway Blogger Grid I am honored to write for P31 Ministries Love being part of (in)courage!

Three books you might consider for gift giving: A Wreath of Snow, The Women of Christmas, and my new Parable Treasury for children.

The Women of Christmas, Parable Treasury, A Wreath of Snow

214 Responses to All the Joy You Need

  1. Lori November 4, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

    I love what you said about real Joy not being about what we can get. It is not about us, it is All about HIM and when we bless others in HIS name then we will experience real Joy. We all learned that in the little saying Jesus, Others, You, but we don’t always follow it. Making it all about Him and what he wants for us is when we will finally have everlasting Joy. Thanks for the insight!

    • Doris Fox November 4, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

      It is so sweet to trust in Jesus and to rest in His promises! It is then that we feel true joy!

    • Rhonda Edwards November 4, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

      I have just discovered your blog tonight and I have absorbed so much of what you have said. Good message.
      I think the most gripping thing for me was when you quoted several scriptures that showed that God is SURE, not wishy washy when He says ” I am with you always.”
      Wow. What confidence in Him we can have if we keep it in mind daily that He is sure of us and will be with us! Not just sometimes, but always! Thank you Lord.

    • Helen Y. November 5, 2015 at 6:43 am #

      Thank you for the reminder that joy is not about me but about Him. Joy in His leading, love, compassion, trials (the hardest) being focused on what Jesus wants for me not what I want from Him. Joy-hmmm

    • Joan November 5, 2015 at 7:15 am #

      Liz, thanks again for the many reminders of my focus being on His character and for His glory. I pray that as I seek to make His name the One that I give glory to that my prayers and praise would be according to His will and that as He promises my joy will be full.

    • Rae November 5, 2015 at 7:18 am #

      As long as I remain IN Him, my desires will be in line with His will. The desires of my heart will be His desires for me. And, He WILL grant the desires of my heart.

    • fran fink November 5, 2015 at 7:24 am #

      The Lord has made me to see His Joy put into me. It is so true that we pray for those whom we love, but I see now that Joy comes when we Praise and Worship HIM first before our petitions. I found that Praise and Worshipping HIM brings Him Joy first and foremost. Remembering Who He Is, that takes first place. Seek Me for Who I Am, not just for What I can do.. thank you for the eye opener !

    • Barbara November 5, 2015 at 7:35 am #

      Thanks Liz and I am reminded that when I ask for something in his name I must believe it also. I saw his grace again this week. We have moved to Wyoming and had ordered a barn to be built . I had prayed that it would be finished before the first snow. The barn was finally finished on Tuesday and we had our first snow of the season last night.

    • Jan November 5, 2015 at 7:42 am #

      We have the ‘Joy, Joy, Joy, down in our Heart” Let it shout out for all to see our love for our Savior as well as all whom we meet—not just at this season of the year, but daily.

    • Ashley November 5, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

      Onomati- One of the statements you have made that just hold up a big sign to me to be sure my requests relate and uplift Him. I do not always remember to do this, and just as you stated, my requests seem more selfish after reading your post. I appreciate you reminding me of this.

    • Michelle Strawder November 5, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

      I am new to your bible study, but not a new fan!
      This really spoke to me today. The Lord opened my eyes to see that we need to be focused on what we can do for others, not just focusing on what He can do for us! James 1:22 and Acts 22:35

    • Catherine Thorne November 5, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

      It WILL be given to us. I thank God for His promise. He keeps giving and giving. I thank Him because I always have joy because He is always giving and I want to be like Him!

    • Sunshine November 6, 2015 at 9:39 am #

      It is humbling to realize that God wants so much more for me than I can ask or imagine. He’s been teaching me to go deeper in my prayer life to seek the mind of Christ. Thank you for encouraging me to do the same.

    • Name* November 6, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

      Count it all joy….even during the hard and dark days GOD is in control and we can trust him.

    • Nancy Gaiser November 7, 2015 at 11:14 am #

      I receive great joy in knowing that my Savior wants to go deeper with me in our relationship and in my prayers! When I ask for things that glorify His name, I can be sure I will receive them. Prayer is not getting everything on our checklist, but is exalting the name of Jesus!

    • Karen November 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

      Oh wouldn’t it be a praise offering if God could hear advertisements that glorified the reason for the season?! You stimulated me to look deeper in myself for real joy…in Him.

    • Lyn Arnberg November 12, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

      I always thought when I pray for someone’s healing it would honour Him. The miracle of his work would be obvious. I see that may not be so.

  2. Joan November 4, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    I love that God is so sure while we live a a world of maybe and if. I can trust His love, His mercy, His grace because He gives me rock solid assurance.

  3. Carol November 4, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

    I’m learning that when my prayers reflect the desire to ultimately bring glory to His name, then my prayers change direction and while they still contain elements of helping others that is not ALL they are.

  4. Becky Fitchett November 4, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

    This study goes hand id hand with what I’ve been studying and reading in my personal devotions. Habakkuk 3:17,18
    Though the fig tree does not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines,
    the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
    the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
    yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will joy in the God of my salvation.

  5. Cheryl November 4, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    I am taken back that the verse says “will”. I guess I’ve read it and read it over the years and never really noticed the surety of that word! He will give me complete joy if I just ask in Jesus name. It’s been there all along, waiting for me to just come to Him and ask. Humbling. And encouraging.

  6. Margaret Schoenfeld November 4, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    “Joy” is my favorite word. It is on-going not like “happy” that is for the moment. Thank you for reminding me that joy doesn’t come from things like food or gifts but from a relationship with Christ.

  7. Beverly Safley November 4, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    I love how Father God supplies/surpasses our needs. He knew I would need His word in writing because I’m human and He knew I would need reminding. What JOY comes when He gives me such a personal response that touches my heart alone. Something no one else on Earth knows. Wow! I enjoyed your words for us about asking God.

  8. Julie November 4, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

    I liked the idea of going deeper in our prayers life. I want to seek His heart, not mine.

  9. Carol November 4, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

    I’m a writer and as I think of what our Lord commands and as it happens how the angels are watching, how the angels eyes saw Jesus as a baby, how the angels await Jesus return, how the angels watch. It’s a peaceful observance that I have been considering for a few weeks now and as the holidays approach I think of Jesus birth and the angels eyes watching in wonder.

  10. shirley November 4, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

    Just today God revealed to me, that no matter what my circumstances are, He wants to reveal to me glimpses of His Glory, a new, fresh view of Who He is., His power, His holiness. So grateful for that fresh Word direct from Him to my heart.

  11. Karen November 4, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    Liz, thank you for these thoughts. It makes me reglethat not only do I need to ask for things that will bring Him glory but I need to have faith the size of a mustard seed. How the faith of those who witnessed the tearing of the curtain at his death and the glory of the Resurrection must have been increased a million fold. I want that kind of faith!

  12. Ret November 4, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    Thank you Lord God for using this study on joy to teach me a more excellent way of relationship with You through prayer. Seeking Your heart and not my own for Your glory!!

  13. Mary Ellen Ward November 4, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    Just saying the word “JOY” makes me feel better and brightens my day. May I experience joy as I dig deeper to have a close relationship with my Lord.

  14. Bonnie olive November 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

    Thank you for your teaching .

  15. Vickie Clark November 4, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    vkc : One who can write in volumes 🙂
    1981 is the year Jesus redeemed my soul. Jesus merciful love brought victory over sin and a spirit of self hatred. Over the past several years in moments of basking in the great salvation Christ workmanship has done and continues. I find my self filled with His wonder and rejoicing in this Most Important New living way Born Again Day “The Joy of Christ’s Salvation in me”
    Delightfully powerful and by far more meaningful “Out Shining all the natural birthdays but together Amen. Event after event His great salvation has time and time again brought added wonder of His design and living hope. A few short years after 1981 this amazement came to light while reading the word of God. ” He knew me before the foundations of the earth ” In the vast sum of abundance that is endless to share all 🙂 The songs of deliverance Our Savior gives to me are a core deep quicking as well : “Thank You Lord for saving my soul. Thank you Lord for making me whole. Thank you Lord for giving to me Thy Great Salvation So Rich and Free 🙂 ”
    Liz,,, the Lord Jesus truly knew how much I needed to give testimony tonight of His Great Love to me 🙂 Dear sister (((((hugs, love & prayers to you and your loved ones near and dear to you. Thank you for devoting your whole life to Jesus as He leads you daily. God Bless you Liz }|{ vkc

  16. Sherri November 4, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    I’ve been working on getting into Gods word deeper lately and this made me realize that I also need to dig deeper into my prayer life. I say a lot of simple prayers and I know he is always in control and has my best interest at heart always but, now I realize I need to go deeper into my prayer life as well. Thanks for the insight on this:)

  17. MaryClaire November 4, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    Here’s what I learned and love: We can have joy based not on what we get, but Who we bless!

    Thank You, LORD!

  18. Beth Taylor November 4, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    Liz, God has really been speaking to my heart about His joy. It can not be based on what I am feeling or experience. It is based on what my heart knows (His word). Thank you for your encouraging studies. Thank you for opening your heart to us.

  19. Linda November 4, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

    It hit me that I so casually end my prayers with “in Jesus’ name,” not even thinking of what I’m saying. But praying in Jesus’ name packs a powerful wallop. And when we pray for His desires for our lives and to glorify Him, He fills us with complete joy. You can’t beat that!!

  20. Lisa Angelina November 4, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

    Liz, what a great reading! Perfect one to start the season of giving and joy. How I pray really spoke to me in this. Of course I always pray for the health and safety of my two kids who are at college and then, just like you mentioned, others in our life as well as ourselves. BUT, I need to remember to keep asking God how he wants me to use the gifts he has given me to help others. I know that there are certain gifts that I’ve been given that can help others and I so want to do that. So, I will have to pay more attention as to how I’m praying my prayers and ask God to show me the way. I’m going to be rereading this during the week till next Wednesday. Thanks Liz!

  21. Sue Parker November 4, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

    I love how we clap hands before beginning our praise music at church. It is in that moment that I feel His Joy within me bubbling over into laughter and tears and more praise. Thank you Lord!

  22. Dottie Rhodes November 4, 2015 at 9:51 pm #

    It has taken me a long time to understand the joy I have in my everyday life and the joy I have in Christ. My joy in Christ doesn’t come from emotions, it comes from knowing Him and being secure that he has my best interest in all things. What a difference it has made in my life!

  23. Jaime November 4, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    God’s promises aren’t “maybe, baby”. His promises are yes and amen. When He promises joy, He delivers! Even at my darkest, I know I can count on Him.

  24. Nina Bartlett November 4, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

    I had to learn that asking anything from God is to ask in faith. Without faith whatever I’m asking is worthless. So glad that He sees deep into my soul and hears my prayers, not just for me but others in need. Answered prayers and spending time with Him is joy to my soul.

  25. Carolyn November 4, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    Thank you for sharing! He is enough!

  26. cynthia November 4, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

    it hit me reading that verse this time that what i really should be asking for is my complete joy. to ask Him for whatever He needs to give that will complete my joy. to put it in His hands and see what He provides for my complete joy. what a rejoicing that WILL be!

  27. Miranda November 4, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    God has shown me so much this last week. I’ve been struggling with faith. I’ve been wondering if He has lost his faith in me. I’ve been struggling with some mental health issues and feel that maybe (there’s one of those wishy-washy words!) He lost his faith and love for me. I went to a worship service last Wednesday and was prayed over. God does answer prayers, by Thursday morning I could feel His love and a realized I was basing my feelings on my lack of faith not His. I’m still working through this revelation but know with the Lord’s help I will be able to move mountains!

  28. Chris November 4, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

    God calls us to go deeper. He wants me to seek His heart, and not just my needs which are many.

  29. Pam G November 4, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

    I am unemployed for only the second time in my 40 year career. I am recently widowed but during this time I have felt a calm in my heart like never before. I know God is walking beside me and guiding me on His path. I just need to be ready to follow His way.

  30. Sherry November 4, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

    It made me smile when I opened your email tonight and saw your devotion titled, “All The Joy You Need.” The timing of it was perfect as it had been a tough day!
    I loved how you reminded us of some of God’s promises, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20) and “Your Joy Will Be Complete!”(John 16:24)
    When praying, I pray “In Jesus Name” meaning His will be done. Tonight I asked myself…. do my prayers ask for things that glorify His name, proclaim His name,
    shine a spotlight on His name or is my focus more on what I want or desire to happen. I’m ready for my prayers to go deeper … as you said, “to seek after the heart
    of His Son and listen to what He wants for us (not from us).” Thanks Liz!

  31. Gabriela November 4, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    The promise to be filled with joy by God is a promise I can rely on. Last year when my husband lost his job, with me only having only a part time job, I was able to keep my eyes on God and Jesus and keep my joy. I knew God had good things in store for us and I let everyone else know it, too. Shortly after Christmas last year, after six months of being unemployed, my husband got a better job than the one from which he had been let go. Through all the ups and downs, my joy is still, and always will be, from and in God.

  32. Name* November 4, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

    I love the statement “ask what he wants FOR us, not from us.” I’ve read that God wants us to be joyful at all times, and that sometimes feels more like a burden. But that he wants joy FOR us, not FROM us is freedom! This isn’t about pretending and, dare I say, lying to be joyful when the world isn’t, he wants to give us joy in the midst of chaos if we will only be still and let Him. Thank you!

  33. Amy Potter November 4, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

    Joy. This is what stands out to me from this weeks study. I think because the last couple months I feel like I have lost my joy and I desperately want it back!!

  34. Sherry November 4, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

    Joy and love are so closely related that it’s hard to experience one without the other.

  35. Kathy November 4, 2015 at 10:27 pm #

    Joy comes in knowing He will always be there.

  36. Melanie November 4, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

    And to think He wants to turn our sorrow into joy! Only our loving Lord and Savior can do such wonderous things!

  37. Julie B. November 4, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

    Complete joy is not in what we get, but who we bless

  38. Janine November 4, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

    To trust in him, and pray about everything.

  39. Jonna November 4, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

    Our joy is guaranteed!

  40. Renette Steele November 4, 2015 at 10:38 pm #

    So many of my dreams came true by the time i was in my mid 40’s. My Hubby and i were able to retire in our early 50’s. up to this point i thought i knew about GOD’s joy, but after retiring i felt lost and what next LORD. it has been six years and i am learning joy comes in the not knowing what next but in the taking the next step GOD wants me to take today. They are often small steps and i don’t always see the progress or where they are leading. But GOD honors the obedience. He fills me with joy and new dreams.

  41. Jayne in Canada November 4, 2015 at 10:43 pm #

    We are spending more time now than ever in prayer as we agree with you that we need to ‘go deeper’ . Tomorrow, I will be adding to my prayer journal the ‘checklist’ of asking for the three things that will yield complete joy. We desire to glorify His name, proclaim His name and shine a spotlight on His name. We desire to serve Him with everything we have – as it all belongs to HIM.

  42. Milagros Milliner November 4, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    What a lovely study! This is challenging me to remember that to honor God in my prayers is to seek His will for my life. Jesus Himself prayed “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matt 26:39b
    May we go deeper in our relationship with The Lord and be blessed all the more for it.

  43. Gwen November 4, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    Ohhhh I do not feel well at all. I overdid and my head and balance suffer. I lie down and that is the only way I can read without my head feeling awful. And my sister reminds me that though it may seem like sooo much that my husband are going through right now, it is, physically and other things, these are just temporal. We have not given up on our love of our Lord Stand UP ON THE lord. How??? I had a vision of a tall logging tree buried a third in the ground and set with that hardening concrete. On the top of this wooden looking tall poll was a topping much like silly putty kind of running down a bit but making it softer to stand UP ON the Lord. By my might? No. By the joy of the Lord I’m able to do it!!! And I think of someone loving God and serving God mightily and influencing teens for Christ yet he now has ALS. Yet he has the JOY of the Lord as his strength. And he worked with the teens one more football season. And me? I find great joy in seeing God use my circumstances to open people’s hearts maybe in pity but I get to speak of Christ’s love for the world. Each person! I never knew my life would end this way nor my husbands. We are in our 50’s. My parents? Mom is still living and sharp at 97. Dad lived to 95 no medication. But God allowed His forces of gravity to hold true. I fell. My brain is injured. But I now must trust Jesus more to live. And to continually give me opportunities to share a relationship with Jesus. Turning a life to Him. As my joy. Although I would like a cute Christmas pillow too. I’ve never had one!! Ahhh shall it say Joy ?!!!

  44. Pat Rossal November 4, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

    Our joy is not found in what WE get, but in the blessings we receive by GIVING!

  45. Rachel November 4, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    As I read this I think of joy coming from gratitude, love and peace. When we pray in Jesus name with gratitude in our hearts for the blessings we do have, despite our circumstances, we feel His peace and joy. His joy also comes when I contemplate that today’s battles may cause me and my family grief, but God has overcome! The battle is His! Joy! Thank you Liz, I really feel blessed by your post.

  46. Rachel Lidbeck November 4, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

    Thank you for this reminder that if we ask in Jesus’ name…He will answer and fill us with His joy. This is an encouraging affirmation of my current Bible study in Philippians. Your blog is so uplifting. Thank you!

  47. Kathy November 4, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

    As I read your comments and study it has just reinforced the word “joy” in my life, this word has been appearing in everything I have been doing this past year, Jesus is speaking to me and I pray with JOY that I hear what He is telling me. Nehemiah 8:10 The Joy of the Lord is my strength. Thank you for a wonderful study as we go into the Christmas season.

  48. Vicki November 4, 2015 at 11:04 pm #

    Your teaching has made me ponder the way and reasons I pray to the Lord, which are mainly seeking help for myself or other family and friends. i certainly need the intervention of the groaning Of the Holy Spirit for my prayer life, and I shall seek God’s face and His will and desire for my prayers. Though we do need help, reassurance and rescue on this planet Earth, I want God to get the Glory for His intervention in our lives, to tell the story of His rescue of our lives and souls. May Jesus be Glorified, and others see Him and come to know Him in those answered prayers.

  49. Debbie November 4, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

    Love the distinction between prayers that are after God’s glory and those that are mostly about us.

  50. Joann Rodriguez November 4, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

    I love how you put it when you talked about asking in Jesus name being more than just the way we end our prayers. How we need to ask in His name for things that glorify Him and bring a spotlight on His name. I never thought of it that way until now.

  51. Alison November 4, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

    I’ve realized how situational my joy is! If my circumstances are going ok, I’m joyful. I can be joyful in the midst of anything! Thank you Liz for bringing God’s word!

  52. Lynn Gregory November 4, 2015 at 11:21 pm #

    As usual, God’s timing is perfect! I had just read and replied on the Caring Bridge site of a child from my church who has been battling cancer most of his life. Things are improving as far as his cancer goes but because of various issues, side effects of medications, etc., he is dealing with a lot of pain right now. He & his family have been faithful servants of God throughout this whole ordeal and my prayer for them was my usual, “if it be Your will…”, all the while thinking “is it really fair to ask for this child not to have pain (even though he certainly deserves to have relief from his pain) when so many others are ill or hurting? After reading your message, I felt God saying that it is right to ask for this because it will certainly bring glory to Him, the Great Physician, and that I must ask it with true belief that He WILL do this! Being raised in a rather conservative Christian household, miraculous healings are not something that have been focused on very much so this is pretty far out of my comfort zone but I know without a doubt that our God is great and our joy makes Him happy. May all see His glory in the miracles that He does every day! Joy is a wonderful word and a wonderful, blessed way to live!!!
    Thank you, Liz, for all the joy you bring to us!

  53. Katie in Colorado November 4, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

    Ever since I was little I’ve ended my prayers “in Jesus’ name” but how often do I dwell on the grace and joy wrapped up in that gift of being able to bring requests to my Heavenly Father? Thank you for the focus on this joy to start out a beautiful holiday season.

  54. Cynthanie Duncan November 4, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

    I never thought about why Christ compares suffering to labor the way you put it. Thank you for a new spin. You’re so right, there is no time like labor and delivery for turning from agony to ecstasy.

  55. Elizabeth November 4, 2015 at 11:40 pm #

    I loved this devotion. When you wrote about asking “in Jesus’ name”, not as an afterthought to prayer, but actually according to His will and power – that was very convicting. Thank you

  56. Angie November 4, 2015 at 11:50 pm #

    Love this as I’m with my mom going through chemo. We’re searching for joy in everything. This was perfect for me to read thanks.

  57. Audra K. November 4, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

    I’m guilty when it comes to praying some pretty wimpy prayers. In the verse we studied here today, Jesus is so definitive, strong, and encouraging. Rather than taking this realization and planting it deep within my heart, I end up giving Him surface-layer prayers and calling it a day. God spoke me to through this study and reminded me that I need to pray more confidently, believing that He will give to me what I’ve asked in His name, along with complete joy…I need to pour my heart to Him, trusting fully in Him.

  58. Fannie Goldsmith November 5, 2015 at 12:12 am #

    This season the Lord has reminded me that I can trust Him instead of trying to work things out myself and when I make mess up I need to learn from these experiences and grow “in Him”. He is faithful and never changes unlike us humans do. I am so thankful that He is patient with me and doesn’t give up on me. That brings joy to my heart.

  59. Teresa Collett November 5, 2015 at 12:19 am #

    “It is joy unspeakable and full of glory, and the half has never yet been told.” Reading your blog brought these words from an old song back to my mind. Now I’ll be singing it as I get ready for bed! Thank you! Jesus is the author and source of that joy!

  60. Gina November 5, 2015 at 12:27 am #

    ” listen to what He wants for us ”
    I am practicing this, listening, having faith and trust in him

    I want to go on “path a” to achieve what I want, but in reality he wants me to take “path b” to achieve what I need. If I focus on him, I gain control.

  61. Amy Wilkinson November 5, 2015 at 12:40 am #

    I asked God for joy earlier tonight and for something fun to do with my kids. The next thing I know, my three children come asking me to play a game with them and I said “yes!”–letting go of my to-do list and evening schedule–we had a lot of fun together. Laughing together and watching them cooperate is joy! Thank You for answering my prayer tonight, Jesus!

  62. Margaret Kirk November 5, 2015 at 1:07 am #

    I have read the book of John twice back to back over the past week and this is the verse I kept going back to. What an amazing gift is His great joy. I think I must always have missed the “you have not done this before” part…and your expansion of the word meaning brought liberty.
    Thank you

  63. Donna Sledge November 5, 2015 at 1:50 am #

    God has been revealing to me in many ways over the past few months that I should be boldly carrying Him and His ministry everywhere. I have been carrying it, but quite likely, not nearly as boldly as I should be!! Trying desperately to hand that over to Him!!

  64. Anita S. November 5, 2015 at 1:56 am #

    Not just asking for what we want as an afterthought in our prayers, but truly seeking what will glorify God, then our joy WILL be complete.

  65. Lisa-Marie November 5, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    My joy is summed up in three words: Jesus. Others. You. Joy!!! My joy comes in thanking God for each day I have with my husband, whose health is steadily failing. His pace has slowed right down, while I go to work, teach Sunday School and go go go! I asked God why He has allowed me to have a very painful arthritic knee and fibromyalgia and He said, “so you can walk at your husband’s slow pace. I’m slowing you down so you spend as much time with him as you can”. Glorifying God through caring for my precious hubby is my greatest joy, honour and privilege.

  66. Janice November 5, 2015 at 3:39 am #

    Joy is made complete in our relationship with Christ in our obedience to His commands.

  67. Sue November 5, 2015 at 3:55 am #

    It’s all about You Jesus, and all this is for You, for Your glory and your fame…

    Thanks Liz for this reminder, this song is running through my mind now. Just what I needed.

    Love you!

  68. Dion November 5, 2015 at 4:15 am #

    God is reminding me to slow down and treasure the joy He alone gives to me not only through the upcoming season but always. It is forever.

  69. Charlsie November 5, 2015 at 4:39 am #

    Liz, thank you for sharing JOY! For me, it was a wonderful reminder to seek HIS heart, to walk close to Him. That heart that prays “not my will, but Your will be done”. It encourages me to believe with the Psalmist: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He’ll give you the desires of your heart.”

  70. Shirley November 5, 2015 at 4:59 am #

    Wow! “You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures forevermore” Psalm 16:11. This is a verse that means a lot to me. It shows me I need to be ‘in the moment’ with my Lord to truly enjoy all that He has for me. To Him be all honor and glory. Thank you, Liz for all you are doing to point others to Him.

  71. Sue November 5, 2015 at 5:06 am #

    Thanks for reminding me God is calling me to go deeper. To seek after the heart of His Son and LISTEN to what He wants for me

  72. Lisa White November 5, 2015 at 6:27 am #

    My family has had a season far from joy. Reading your devotional gave me hope that with a priority change I could get that joy back. And God led me to the conclusion that my joy would be infectious to my family! Praise God and thank you!

  73. Cindy November 5, 2015 at 6:38 am #

    I was filled with a surge of joy at the reminder of how sure His promises are. He is teaching me to wait, be still and just be in His sweet presence, where there is fullness of joy. Springing up deep within, always there. Thank you for the promise, Lord that you NEVER leave me and want me to come, seek, ask and you WILL be found and answer. All because of JESUS.

  74. Judy November 5, 2015 at 6:57 am #

    Thank you for sharing .

  75. Julie Mast November 5, 2015 at 6:58 am #

    Growing up I’ve always been taught to say at the end of my prayers “In Jesus Name or In Jesus Name I pray” but, when we heartfelt say that and mean it, it is a confirmation, a commitment. A place to leave our prayers in confidence. I am so happy with this reminder. Thank You!!

  76. Allison Wells November 5, 2015 at 7:01 am #

    Hello, Liz!

    I think in this lesson God is telling me to dig deeper in my prayers. Asking for safety or health is fine, but perhaps I need to look a little deeper. What is safety or health for my family members without Christ in their lives?

  77. Jan Heyer November 5, 2015 at 7:04 am #

    Thank you for reminding me that in Christ I have real joy. That I can enjoy this joy more by sharing His love with others. Thank you Liz for reminding me of this.

  78. Brenda Jordan November 5, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    In reading this week’s study it reminded me of James 4:3: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

    I had been praying for someone who’s is so negative about every little thing. I was praying for them to change so I could see some peace. The Lord told me I was asking amiss. I should be praying so SHE could have peace.

    It is not just about us and what we want but what He wants for us and can do through us.

  79. Loretta November 5, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    Joy real deep down joy.. God is faithful to do just as he promises. My church pastor once told me that God said He was going to bring me more joy than I had ever known. I had no idea what this meant until a few months later I met my husband to be and a year later we were married. I remember looking at my husband about a year after we were married and just being filled with so much joy I mean real joy and in that moment I knew that the joy was my marriage. As in my husband loves the Lord with all his heart and he is a godly man who does lead me according to scripture. I have found so much joy in being in a good marriage a godly marriage. The best times are sitting at the table just flipping through the Word reading verses at random saying oh isn’t that so so good. Now my marriage is not perfect and not always happy but our love for Jesus brings us closer everyday and brings me more joy than I have ever known…

  80. Valerie W November 5, 2015 at 7:33 am #

    I think was was revealed – or maybe reinforced – to me was how shallow and self-centered my prayers can be. Even if I think I praying (or sometimes begging) for something that will eventually bring God glory, my thoughts at the time of the prayer aren’t truly focused on God. They’re focused on my need. Oh Lord, help me turn my eyes upon you – and to keep them focused there. Amen.

  81. Barbara Justiss November 5, 2015 at 7:43 am #

    I just realized I was asking for things without praying in His name, authority or power. I fear a lot of my prayers are selfish.

  82. Ann Thompson November 5, 2015 at 7:44 am #

    I appreciate this post this morning. I pray for opportunities to reflect His glory, to shine with His light every day but I too, offer the quick, “Please Lord” prayers. As you pointed out, there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing is too small or too big for our Father and I believe He wants to hear from us, no matter what the circumstances. Thank you for this perspective. I gain something from each of your posts I read (and also your books. 🙂 ).

  83. Jennifer November 5, 2015 at 7:46 am #

    There it is. . .the call to go deeper and listen to Him.
    Thank you, Liz, for heeding God’s call and letting Him speak so clearly through you to me today.
    Yes, Lord. . .I am heeding Your call to listen to YOU!
    Amen and Amen!

  84. Paula Timpson November 5, 2015 at 7:49 am #

    Joy is complete everyday
    Thank you God!

  85. Stacy November 5, 2015 at 7:50 am #

    I love how you confirmed that His word is an ironclad guarantee. Our words so often are said with really no substance behind them but not with God His Word is solid and something we can really stand on. What an amazing comfort and an amazing God.

  86. Cindy Speight November 5, 2015 at 7:52 am #

    Joy is something that I have been trying to understand and go deeper in lately. Thank you so much for the inspiration and encouragement of this study.

  87. Lynn Janzen November 5, 2015 at 8:02 am #

    Ahhhh true joy. I have realized that just being in the presence of my Lord Jesus and offering worship unto Him that I am filled with incredible joy. I don’t come before the throne “expecting” answers to every request but just to celebrate being one in Christ and offering myself to Him He will answer my prayers according to His will for me. I have complete confidence that God hears my prayers but it so liberating just allowing Him to work through me. Thank you for these encouraging words dear Liz.

  88. Ann November 5, 2015 at 8:04 am #

    “Jesus wants us to ask for things that glorify His name, proclaim His name, shine a spotlight on His name.”
    Not just add in Jesus name to the end of my prayer.
    I have been processing this asking the things He will always answer yes being about our character and not wishes. This quote about ‘in His name’ really brought this to light for me…thank you!!!

  89. Carrie November 5, 2015 at 8:17 am #

    Our joy is in the Lord. It’s not for us but for Him!

  90. Maria Scott November 5, 2015 at 8:29 am #

    We need to go deeper in our prayers when talking to the Lord Jesus on a daily basis.

  91. Rae November 5, 2015 at 8:30 am #

    Liz, my husband and I pray together a couple of times a day and always ask God to help us stand strong against satan and any thoughts he may try to place in our minds. We also ask him to help us walk forward in his will at all times to not stall or go backwards. It definitely helps us.

  92. Lidia Rodriguez November 5, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    “Praying in His Name [i.e. his character ] is so huge for me! Just a confirmation that my life must not be about “me” but about Him and bringing glory to His name. This life is just a dress rehearsal for when I see Him face to face… My prayers must reflect that! Thank you, Ms H.!! You’re such a blessing

  93. Christa November 5, 2015 at 8:45 am #

    It’s all about HIM and I want to bless others in HIS name and bring glory to HIM. It really makes me think about the comming Christmas season and how we will try to bless others in HIS name with our children. I want to instill in them a servants heart and what better way than to bless others in the name of our Lord? Oh the JOY that will come seeing our sons serve others in HIS name!!

  94. Carolyn Hollis November 5, 2015 at 8:52 am #

    I was challenged by the words you wrote: 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. That really sheds new light on my prayer life.

  95. Ammie November 5, 2015 at 8:53 am #

    It is amazing the new truths you can find in a scripture you may have read dozens of times! I am finding as I study the Bible more and more that each word is so carefully placed, none are wasted and all point to important meanings for us…promises to cling to, hope to get us through tough times. God wants us to lean on Him and many times we just barely lean in. I pray for Him to teach me to fall completely into His arms, and not just tentatively hold His hand.

  96. Valerie November 5, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    Thank you for reminding us that it’s ALL about Jesus and not US! It’s about allowing Him to work and reveal His power, majesty, grace and love. And then to reveal it in US as we reflect Him back to the world. GOD is good!

  97. Mary Sue November 5, 2015 at 9:03 am #

    Amen! Joy to me is like a ‘treasure’ as in Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. God gives me/us treasure every day. I need to remind myself of that as I take my daily run, work in the yard, or visit an elderly church member. Acknowledging these daily, simple treasures fills my heart with Joy.

  98. Allison November 5, 2015 at 9:15 am #

    Thank you for the reminder that the source of all joy is in Him. May He bless you as you bless others.

  99. Bobbi Wineberg November 5, 2015 at 9:20 am #

    I think sometimes we think just adding Jesus’ name is like a stamp of approval; it becomes almost superstitious. By that I mean if we don’t pray in His name, it has less chance of being answered and doesn’t have Christ’s authorization. I have not thought that it should mean for His Honor and Glory and not mine.

  100. Holly D November 5, 2015 at 9:34 am #

    I’m realizing that I need to pray asking for God’s will in the situation, not my outcome. Sometimes an answer to prayer is not always a quick fix, but what is God’s best for the subject or circumstance. It is impossible to to top God’s best! Thank the Lord!

  101. Diane November 5, 2015 at 9:41 am #

    My joy comes from seeking after God’s heart and what He wants for me not what I think I need.

  102. Pamela November 5, 2015 at 9:41 am #

    I am finding that I am learning not to lean on my feelings. Feelings can be deceptive. He says, he is our joy! I find in times of trouble if I look past the issues and keep my focus on Jesus then the joy and peace remain. No matter the situation. HE makes us complete, whole and full of joy.

  103. Mona November 5, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    I love the promise and power in God’s word. Praying with that power and assurance is such a great reminder that I need to go deeper. Thank you.

  104. Claudia November 5, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    Wonderful learnings from this week’s devotion are joy from seeking what He wants for me and joy from blessing others in His name!!

  105. Diane November 5, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    God gave me this verse during a very difficult time in my life. What a “joy” to read your insights into this verse. Brought me deeper and I am sure there is more to come from Him as always.

  106. Rebecca Gordon November 5, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    Thanks for pointing out that my prayers should not always be asking for something I need or for someone that I love needs. I can still pray and ask for these things but I need to pray for them to be answered in a way to give God the glory. So when I ask God to please let my son-in-law go back to day shift at his work, I should also pray that by this happening it will give God the glory and show my son-in-law the great power of prayer. Then this may be a tool to reach out to him and draw him in to possibly accept Christ!!

  107. LaDonna November 5, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    This brought to mind the new slogan for ‘WWJD’…instead of What Would Jesus Do, it is suggested to say…
    ‘Watch What Jesus Does’
    We can ‘ask’ in Jesus name. Then, sit back in Joy, and watch how he delivers…always in an awesome way 🙂

  108. Jacque Lindsey November 5, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    One year ago today my mom began her journey to be with Jesus. She entered the hospital one year ago today and took her final breath on 12/19/14. This has been a rough first year and it is really hard for me now going thru the holidays without my mom. But I have JOY knowing that my mom is with Jesus and that one day I will see her again. This is my JOY knowing that Jesus said that he was going to prepare a place for me and that one day I WILL be with my parents in heaven. I could not have gotten thru this year without knowing that JOY. As I enter into these holidays, yes I will miss my mom terribly, BUT I will have JOY knowing one day we will meet again.

  109. Penny November 5, 2015 at 10:07 am #

    Knowing the he truly wants us to ask for not only what we need but that he will listen to our heart and bless us in Jesus name, makes me think deeper than superficial requests. Realizing what he went through coming to us as one of us to know our daily walk so he can in turn bless us is amazing!!

  110. Julie Lahr November 5, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    There is POWER in the name of JESUS! Praise His Holy Name!
    Over my many years in faith I have had God do amazing things for me.
    Often it was an answer to a small prayer breathed as I went through my day. Imagine the possible answers to fervent prayers that are brought before our Magnificent Lord with boldness and the assurance that He Is Listening!
    As I recall many blessings from our Merciful Lord, I will keep my eyes fixed on Him from Whom all blessings flow! I will choose to be thankful and His Joy will flow from my soul, radiating His Glory!

  111. Jaime November 5, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    I love the reminder of how our struggles before we are standing with Him can be compared to labor. I have been working at something God has called me to, but as I get closer to the finish line, and especially closer to Him, the pain and struggle can feel unbearable. This reminds me of the joy that comes soon and suddenly after the worst of the pain. 🙂 And we already know He’s more than worth it!

  112. Lindsay November 5, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    We may think that we can get joy by other means, leaving Jesus out of the equation. The truth is that we can ONLY receive joy through Him. The worlds “joy” is just a smoke screen. Only God can bless us even more than we could ever imagine, our vision is usually too small for the plan He has for us.

  113. Helen Lynn November 5, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    Hitherto have you asked nothing; Ask…
    Asking in His Name and for His fame speaks wondrous joy.
    As I pray for my son and his family (wife and five children) who are Prayer Walking America as I write, I am claiming the promise that comes with that verse.
    “Lord, make this verse real for them each step of their way, for Your Name and Your fame.
    His is “As You Go Ministries”.

  114. Robin Fulkrod November 5, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    I long to grow into a deeper prayer life. I am in a constant state of prayer. Conversing with the Lord all day long but I feel the need to go deeper.
    Your blog has been an additional confirmation of the call the Lord has given me.
    I know that I know, the power and authority the name of Jesus has! I am so thankful we all have that power over the enemy when he strikes at us.
    Thank you Liz!

  115. Amy November 5, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    My busy mama heart needed to hear this today. My busy steals my joy in my precious gift from God.

  116. Barb November 5, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    There is joy in His presence. When my fears take precedence, I lose sight of Jesus and there is no joy. When Jesus is present by my side, there is no fear. Fear comes when I try to do it on my own. I pray for earthly things – healing for my daughter. I pray for heavenly things – to feel Jesus’ presence every minute of the day. I ask in His name, in His power, in His glory for earthly things and for heavenly things for His glory. Amen.

  117. Kelli November 5, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    I love your comment “job based not on what we get, but on who we bless” great to remember this during this Thanksgiving month 🙂

  118. Kelli November 5, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    I love your comment “joy based not on what we get, but on who we bless” great to remember this during this Thanksgiving month 🙂

  119. Lindsay November 5, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    Hi Liz,
    I facilitate a small group of ladies in our Women’s ministry Bibles Study. In my closing prayer I lift up the Lord as I praise him for all he has done for us such as O, Lord Jesus how grateful we are that you came to earth as a human and became the perfect sacrifice for our sins by dying in our place. Help us to prioritize our study and meditation of Your Word that it penetrates our minds and hearts, enabling us to love, trust and obey You. We love you Lord Jesus, and want our lives to honor and glorify you. In Your strong name we pray Amen! Is this what you are referring to as a means of praising our Lord by keeping Him first place in our minds and hearts when we pray? I hope so!

  120. Linda November 5, 2015 at 11:58 am #

    I’ve always tried to pray in Jesus’ name, meaning His will, but never thought about how that word also translates into His character. That has opened my eyes and heart to a whole new dimension of praying. Blessings!

  121. Angela November 5, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Dear Liz,

    “ask for all the things that glorify His name” – I never understood that it was about asking for things that represent who Jesus is, that go deeper than just tacking on “In Jesus name” to the end of our prayer. That’s how I’ve been taught to pray. Thank you for helping to grow my prayer life.

  122. Kerri Norrod November 5, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    Our joy is not found in what we get, but it is found in glorifying God. I pray that this Christmas I glorify God and shine his light to others.

  123. Sandy Norrod November 5, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

    This reminds me of the importance of glorifying God and finding joy in serving him.

  124. Amber Paulsen November 5, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    LOVE this post on Joy. 😀 I learned that the ultimate JOY is knowing Christ and putting Him first. Being with Him, reading His Word, talking to Him, journaling, experiencing His awesomeness brings my heart so much joy that it bursts out, to reach others with His love.

  125. Joann Hickman November 5, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    This lesson supports what I feel God has been trying to tell me all week; you are my child. I am your great physician as well as your friend’s. I do not love her more than you. Because of my shed blood and resurrection you have been made worthy. You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. Ask and you shall receive…
    Thanks, Liz

  126. Carole November 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    Jesus’ joy never ends as long as we continue to trust Him

  127. Angie November 5, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    Never thought about “seeing Jesus again will fill our hearts with joy like no one can take away. You compared that statement to giving birth. This spoke to me … Never do we move from “Help!” to “Hallelujah!” faster than we we’re in labor. How true! ! I work for Hospice and will share this with my patients. Thank you for this and your ministry. 🙂

  128. Shirley November 5, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    I find ” the Christian life is not a constant high, I have had moments of deep discouragement since i lost my daughter age 39 mother of -4-. I have had to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes and ask God to forgive me or just “Help me.” However, finding the JOY again gives me peace and I realize my prayers were selfish. I will put Jesus first and put Him in the depth of my soul.

  129. Michelle Strawder November 5, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    Thank you for such an eye opening study!
    The Lord has truly spoken to me today. These are the scriptures he put on my heart Acts 20:35; James 1:22; & Psalms 100:4

  130. Holly November 5, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    I didn’t realize the weightiness of what it means to “ask in my name”. Wow!

  131. Helen Badman November 5, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    The constantly of God gives me hope. The strength of God gives me peace.
    The love of God gives me joy!
    I could go on for the attributes of God and his promises supply my every need.

    Thank you Liz for this study!

  132. Blanche Hake November 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

    Liz, you’ve done it again. Ah, Joy! This is a concept that many people have trouble separating from happiness. Your outlook on the subject expresses what joy I feel when I am in touch with the Lord. This is a topic that I try to explain to my children and grandchildren. We certainly need the Lord’s guidance for our young people today. Many have never been inside a church or Sunday School, and know very little about the true meaning of Christmas or Easter. As Christians, we need to express that joy to all with whom we come in contact. Bless you again for this study.

  133. Alana Morgan November 5, 2015 at 4:40 pm #

    Such JOY in just being able to say His name out loud without retribution! Thank You Lord! Thank you Liz for this opportunity.

  134. Carol November 5, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    Thank you Liz for this Joufull message. My name Carol means song of Joy!! So of course the enemy tries to steal it every chance he gets, but I know there is fullness of joy in His name!!
    Joyfully yours, Carol

  135. Martha T. November 5, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

    I was especially touched by what it means to pray in Jesus’ name.

  136. Sandra Cosby November 5, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

    Thank you so much for this word today. I’ve been struggling with joy and with prayer. As I read I was like yes I am always asking of God and I really just need to seek him and draw closer and listen. I know our joy comes from the Lord I just need to remember this on those days that I can’t seem to find joy. Again thank you so much for this today

  137. Priya November 5, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

    Thank you for this uplifting and educative post. I love to read them.

  138. Sue T. November 5, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

    There is power in the name of Jesus. Joy and peace will come if we do everything in the name of Jesus.

  139. Diane kasikantiris November 5, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

    In my mind I believe joy is equal to contentment. Thank you for reminding me.

  140. Nancy Lundberg November 5, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

    Thank you for the reminder to ask God for things that will praise Him or further His work on earth, not just to ask selfishly for our own desires. God already knows them.

  141. Carrie November 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

    For the past several years I have dreaded the holiday season. Last year I tried to do it differently with decorating and gifts, but it still didn’t “feel” like Christmas to me. I grew up loving Christmas, and as a young adult loved everything that came with the season. Your post has reminded me that maybe I have let my focus drift from Jesus during this upcoming season. Perhaps he’s calling me to return my focus on Him and CHOOSE joy.

  142. Laurie November 5, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

    My revelation has to deal with who I am in Christ. I have the authority through Him to go boldly to the throne, and it is in Him that my joy comes.

  143. joyce hancock November 5, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

    I am a little behind in the study, but God has reinforced the idea that being an encourager of people is such a good thing. When we compliment someone or encourage them in something they are doing we never know how much difference it can make in their lives. I prefer focusing on the positive things in our lives.

  144. Judy Drechsler November 5, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    Hi Liz thank your for your post about joy it is a timely reminder to be grateful for God’s blessing in our lives and to focus on Him first before we ask for our petitions. If we don’t focus on who He is and what He means to us we loose sight of how much He means to us and just give Him our shopping list which isn’t what our relationship with Him is about. I can’t come to Him and give Him my petitions without first focusing on who He is in my life because without doing that I don’t really have the faith in Him to place my trust in Him in the first place that He is as you say willing to answer us and our prayers. My life is full of things I can do nothing with and I need to trust Him with those things, without being confident of who He is to me I can’t do that. Each day I place my youngest daughter who is suicidal and isn’t talking to me in His loving hands. I couldn’t do that without being confident of who He is in my life. Thank you for the reminder.

  145. Marsha N November 5, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

    John 16

    Just another opportunity to see how rich God’s Word is, all the lessons to be learned in just a few verses. Two specifically stood out for me, those were:

    v5 None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things

    20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.

    With verses 5 and 6 it seems the disciples are so lost in their own emotions that they miss what Jesus seems to see as more important, the question He seems to have expected them to ask. “Where are you going”? Jesus please tell us about this place you are going, what is it like, how will it be for you, what will it be like, are you anxious to go, how can we best support you?
    But isn’t that how we are, in the midst of our emotions we often miss the moment to ask the questions that many years later we wish we had the answers to.
    I would think Jesus would joyously share the answers to all of these questions, He would have enjoyed sharing with those He had spent the last years with, where His next journey would be to and what He was looking forward to, what it would be for Him there.
    So as we head into what can seem like the busiest Season of the year, slow down, relax, take the moment to ask the important questions and then slow down enough to listen to the answers and marvel in them.

    v20 I think just leaves me pondering which time frame Jesus is talking about. “. . .Weep and mourn while the world rejoices, you will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.” Oh what a blessed promise.
    Jesus being the same yesterday, today, and forever. Turns our weeping to joy.

  146. Angela November 5, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    I love how you pointed out that when our requests are to honor Him we know he will bless that request.
    I think many times people misinterpret that verse to mean Jesus will give us whatever we ask for period.

  147. Clair H November 5, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

    This: “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).”
    This is what I needed to hear! Thank you for sharing!

  148. Nancy W. Johnson November 5, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

    You gave me a lot to think about…It’s what Jesus can do for us, not we we do for Him! A different thought for me!

  149. Arlene W November 5, 2015 at 11:48 pm #

    It is important that Jesus pointed out that until then they hadn’t prayed in Jesus’ name. But we know we can, because we believe in the Holy Trinity.

  150. Cynthia Quiroga November 6, 2015 at 12:06 am #

    Lately my prayers and thoughts have peppered with the phrase “glory to God” and reading this post, I’m seeing we are to glorify Him. Over and over that just comes to mind. Which is new to me, I never really think about actually doing something or saying something to the glory of God. It always seemed like words to me before…but He is really inscribing this into my heart and mind.

    Thank you for writing. You are a wonderful blessing from God and your communication skills bring Him glory 🙂

  151. Kimberly November 6, 2015 at 6:13 am #

    I’m sure others have already said this but this devotion was a great reminder to me that praying “in Jesus name” at the end of my prayers isn’t really what it means to pray in His name!

  152. Wendy Lewis November 6, 2015 at 6:23 am #

    One thing I’ve taken away from this lesson with Liz is to slow down, focus on our Jesus, and figure out what He wants for us during our prayer time with Him. Only then will the true, down-to-the-bone-marrow JOY be evident in our lives!

  153. Debbie Deaven November 6, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    I completely agree , Liz, the bible tells us in John 6:33 to seek him first and all these other things will be given to us . That’s a lesson I have to keep reminding myself . To seek Him first and He will take care of all the rest . Thank you, Debbie Deaven

  154. Danielle November 6, 2015 at 7:27 am #

    Nothing better than deep JOY that our Lord gives us. I especially liked the encouragement of the surety of His promises. And your words to remind us to go deeper with our prayers in asking for things that: GLORIFY His Name, PROCLAIM His Name, and SHINE A SPOTLIGHT on His Name. Thank you for sharing your joyful heart with us.

  155. Linda H November 6, 2015 at 7:52 am #

    To bring glory to His name! This can totally change the way I pray. To take the focus off me. He is so worthy!! What joy!!

  156. Julie Thompson November 6, 2015 at 7:56 am #

    One of Liz’s tweets this week, reminded me that God made ME the mother of a very difficult teenager because HE knows what SHE needs. A different perspective certainly, from my current mindset.

  157. Jackie November 6, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    God is showing me this week that no matter what happens he has my back! I just have to trust in Him and wait patiently for God’s plan to unfold! Thanks for the bible study!

  158. Melissa November 6, 2015 at 10:07 am #

    I loved reflecting on this JOY! I don’t know about anyone else, but sometimes I have heard this verse or read it and not really stopped to reflect on this beautiful gift of joy. Maybe I thought there was too much un-joy in the world, how can I possibly be joyful in this midst? But, this particular season I have been seeking Him and what His love means, and this shows itself in this verse and chapter of John. In fact, Liz’s comments at the end, “a complete joy, a perfect joy…” remind me of 1 John 4:16-18, perfect love casting out all fear. When we are (I am) able to free myself of worldly fear, I feel His love and yes, JOY inside giving me strength. Thank you for this study Liz!

  159. Kristy November 6, 2015 at 10:14 am #

    Thank you Liz for the living word reminders! Our God is so faithful to restore our joy in His timing! Your words about praying for what God’s will is and to glorify Him in what we ask for has resonated in my heart and will definitely change the way I pray!
    God bless you!

  160. Lois November 6, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    What a blessing to know that we can have complete joy in His name!

  161. Priscilla King November 6, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    What comes to mind is long enough to be a separate post on my Blogjob. I’ll schedule it there for tomorrow (11.7.15).

  162. Debbie Salmonson November 6, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    Very thought provoking, Liz, as always. I love that I have been chosen by God to be His daughter and my whole existence is designed with the purpose to bring glory and fame to the name of Jesus Christ. Do I succeed in this weighty task? No, but His grace is sufficient and for that I am grateful. God desires progress, not success. He is my God and I am His daughter-what amazing and incredible JOY this knowledge brings!

  163. Dodie Weiland November 6, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

    There is so much joy and peace in knowing that God’s timing is perfect and he knows what is best for us. My evening study group has been through many of your “bad girls of the bible” books now and WE LOVE THEM! We are all flawed and “bad” at times so it is so comforting to know we have God’s grace and forgiveness.

    Thank you for all your humor, humility, and the honor you bring to our Lords Word.

  164. Bridget November 6, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

    Through this post I am reminded to pray most fervently for a path to do HIS will. It is a much needed reminder, thank you!

  165. Carly Trahan November 6, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

    This was very encouraging and just what I need for this difficult season in my life. I am trusting God to restore and heal our marriage. I am standing on His word “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:6. I am now standing on the verse you share in John 16:24. I am believing for JOY IN OUR MARRIAGE!!! I was inspired by your quote “A joy not based on what we get, but on who we bless.” I pray I can be a blessing and a help meet to my husband! Thank you for the encouragement 🙂

  166. Debbie Eckart November 6, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    Hi. Thank you for your page. I truly appreciate your perspective and twist on the things of God. This past week I was reading the Bible and Amos 3:7 stuck out to me. I found support in a couple other places and then I realized Jesus says we will not know the day or the hour but He says nothing about the week, the month or the year. It’s a long story but it helped me grasp that God has spoken to me, revealed things to me in the past. It was a time of relief on my part for several reasons. God is good. He loves us and wants us to be secure. I’m thankful for Him

  167. Julie wyatt November 6, 2015 at 11:04 pm #

    Boy do I need some joy !!! I have two new grand babies who I love with all my heart ,but I’m so tired! My daughter is single and lives with us and the twins are now home as were born early. I’m praying that God is happy with the care/ love we are giving these girls and that His joy would be overflowing here at our house.

  168. Nicole Shuglo November 7, 2015 at 4:50 am #

    “Seek after (His) heart…and listen”… these words really spoke to me (a “DO DO DO” kind of gal who often becomes completely overwhelmed by all that I think that I have to accomplish in a day)! Perfect timing to begin these reflections with you as Advent approaches (the time of year when I tend to get swept away by an unforgiving ‘TO DO’ list). Thinking that this year’s list needs to look a little different… (1. Seek 2. Listen… <3)

  169. Jennifer C November 7, 2015 at 10:25 am #

    I will not be long winded… It has been a long rough year. But God has been faithful and He has used your sweet gentle loving words to guide me slowly back to Him. Thank you 🙂

    To find my joy in Him. That is what I have taken away.

  170. Carole Weusthoff November 7, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    After reading your article, I kept scrolling back to the photo of the two cats. How trusting they are to “survive” in God’s world and how humans can be so lacking in faith especially in conversations. Thank you for the explanation of using wishy-washy words……other animals in God’s kingdom are not aware of that “negativity”!

  171. Deb November 7, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    So often I am prompted to stop and rewind my prayer…so hollow…so selfish, even when on behalf of another – to review the way in which I am speaking to the Creator, my Father. How often have I been satisfied with reciting a laundry list when He wanted to remind me of His love, even joy in having me as His daughter. Or that there is so much more to life than the anxiety, bitterness, obsession that has laid claim to my heart and mind. Freedom and restoration are mine when I am willing to let go.

  172. Janice November 7, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

    “Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24 I loved the definition of complete joy being a river overflowing its banks. Today I was “serving” getting ready for visiting missionaries and not serving with joy. I so desire that perfect joy based on Who I’m serving rather than the circumstances of the moment.

  173. Pat McCoy November 7, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    I liked your writing of praying in Jesus name and the added words of “and all that it represents.” It caused me to stop to think just what that might sound like. It seems that we need to add a word to glorify Him during the prayer or at the end. In the case of asking for healing, note that He is the great Physician, the Healer of men’s bodies and souls. The prayer request needs also to be in God’s will…needs to be according to His word. I often like to end my prayers by saying, “In the strong name of Jesus, I pray,” or In the abundant love of Jesus, I pray.”

  174. Jena November 8, 2015 at 3:35 am #

    Joy doesn’t just happen. We must intentionally pursue it by seeking to know Him on a deeper level. Even then, we still must actively receive joy.

  175. Lori J November 8, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    I love that you used various bible versions to reference the same scripture. Rather than taking away from the message it beautifully underscores and communicates the depth of what God’s Word is saying to our hearts through the message of joy and the sufficiency of Who God is in it.

  176. Ginger November 8, 2015 at 9:16 am #

    I’m new to your blog but not to you. Our women’s Bible Study group has read two of your books and enjoyed them. I appreciate you being an encourager. Something we all need. 🙂 thanks for guiding me to remember that God wants to really know me as well as me to really know Him.

  177. Kimmer November 8, 2015 at 9:59 am #

    Thank you, Lord, for speaking to us with such surety and authority!

  178. Cyndee Palmer November 8, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Another reminder for me to pray for God’s will, to let go and stop trying to do everything myself and to give God the glory.

  179. Judy November 8, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Long ago I received a simple plaque with the words — “Joy is not the absence of suffering but the presence of God.” I love that definition and the Lord reminds me of it often!

  180. Sherri November 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    To keep from getting further behind, ?, I read this post today right after completing the final chapter of our fun, fabulous, wise Sheba. I have to believe she went home filled with the joy of her new relationship with the one true God. I have that same relationship, with the added benefit of my relationship with Jesus. So my joy is 1000-fold what Sheba’s would have been. I have the awesome privilege of entering His presence anytime, anywhere. I can call on His name – I get to KNOW His name! – anytime, anywhere. And I can know that when I ask Him for something in His name, I am calling on His name and ALL that represent: His “character, fame, reputation, and authority.” These are the very things about God that drew Sheba to Jerusalem. When I live my life in accordance with His will, I will be the light and salt He desires me to be, and like Solomon, I will draw others to the knowledge of my God. That is awe-inspiring and creates a deep seated joy that no circumstances can change!

  181. Susan G. November 9, 2015 at 1:34 am #

    Hi Liz,

    I’ve learned so many things from this study… and just from this blog I have learned to ‘tweak’ my prayers a little so that the focus is on glorifying His name more.
    It may seem like such a little change, but I’m believing that it will put my focus on where it should be – on Jesus, not on my prayers so to speak.
    Thanks so much for this!
    You never disappoint!

  182. Susan Jones November 9, 2015 at 9:11 am #

    A while back I quit praying for my son’s salvation for my own happiness and instead started praying for his salvation so it might bring glory to God. I pray that as he and his family come to know Jesus that their lives will bring glory and honor to Jesus, for it is in His name I pray. It is His name, reputation, and authority that I pray will bring salvation to this family. Thank you for that word that confirms my thoughts exactly.

  183. cb November 9, 2015 at 9:34 am #

    I was always taught that to experience joy, you need to put Jesus first, others second and You Last. That is the true way to experience joy.

  184. Laura Bennet November 9, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    Thank you, Liz! I like what you said about going deeper. It’s true that in those quiet times that I ask and wait on the Lord for what He wants to lead me to pray, peace and joy follow. Thanks for the reminder.

  185. Helen wilson November 9, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    Thank you so much for your devotion to helping others understand God’s word in a joyful way. I have read this scripture before, but have not understood it completely. I enjoy your work and feel I grow in my walk through your help.

  186. Jaime November 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    It’s funny that this is the first scripture you shared. It just confirmed what God has been speaking to me about praying BOLD prayers. It’s time for us to rise up and start praying BOLD prayers. Earth shaking prayers. The way the world is today we have to pray those BOLD prayers. Liz I appreciate you for sharing your heart and touching our hearts.

  187. Cindy November 9, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    My word this year is FOCUS. Your post caused me to stop and reflect on the Power of the Name of Jesus! My prayers today will be spoken with “Onomati”. Words spoken with the authority of Jesus! Amen. To the Glory of His Name!

  188. Chandi November 9, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    This is a refreshing reminder for me that my prayers should not be thrown “at” my Jesus, but rather asked “in” him! Not just a honey-do list of things that need fixing. Of course he has the power to fix anything and everything, but I need to rely on HIS power and HIS timing and not my own desires.

  189. Olga November 9, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    Dear Liz,

    I am at the library right now. I visited my e-mail and open the in box and to my delight read your message “All the joy you will need”. I will first, respond to the post.Before my visit to the library I received a telephone call from a fellow co-worker that has also been a delight to have in my life. Thank you Lord! She walked up to my counter and says the words, “Can you use a new friend?” They were welcoming words but, poor timing. Or so I thought.You see I was burnt out. I had just made up my mind that I would never again let someone in my workplace close enough to me to ever hurt like that again! But,she gave me time and space. My friend called this afternoon on her commute to work (my day off). My friend tells me that she invited for a Thanksgiving Dinner, everyone that she feels has offended her. (in her family). As a peace offering and new beginning. I laughed. Only because I just did the same thing. Unlike my friend though, I told my invited guests (a sister and her husband in Nevada),that it probably would not be like the spread they have become accustom to having each year but, that I am SURE we would be happy because we would be all TOGETHER. So getting back to your wonderful post. I want to be the peace maker that Christ speaks about in Matthew 5:9.
    It was only funny to me because she and I did the same thing and had not talked about it until after we did this and then I read your post. Now secondly,
    I want to tell you how I am so sorry I missed you while you were here on Friday at the River park in Owensboro Kentucky. I actually was at the River Park and paying with my debit card and it was declined after he ran it twice….I really was bummed because I so wanted to be there to hear you. As I told the young man at the ticket office not to worry about it because I will just accept it as I was not suppose to be here tonight. I was trying to console him when I was also trying to tell myself there had to be a reason. I shook the pebbles that had collected in my Jessica Simpson ballet flats and started made my way out the door.I then started to be concerned that I had exceeded limit my daily balance. After going to the bank the next morning my account had not been tampered with nor was my balance in jeopardy. Thank you Lord! I do not have the answer for this one but, when I told my daughter who is not living for the Lord. I thought that I was not suppose to be there for some reason hoping for some consolation. She says, don’t you remember your card did not work one other time? When you were getting some coffee for me from Duncan Doughnuts? This was not what I had in mind! so why did I ask her? I was looking for something more spiritual as to why my card was declined when I was by myself trying to feed my soul! Thank you for all you do to lead us live for Christ and keep him FIRST. I think I will ask him why?

  190. Angie N November 9, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    I pray that I can find JOY in every situation, every day!

  191. Karla Tildahl November 9, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    I was moved be your statement that our prayers need to go deeper to see what Jesus wants for us.

  192. Rebecca Kavanaugh November 9, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

    Goosebumps!!! That voice (guess Whose!) told me to check your blog tonight. Low and behold, here is this lovely, lovely study on Joy. And those three life-changing words: “in His name”. God is good, and you are his faithful and eloquent child.

  193. linda johnson November 10, 2015 at 6:54 am #

    I asked God to help me when I was widowed and several years later He sent me the most wonderful man to share the rest of our lives.

  194. Amanda November 10, 2015 at 8:27 am #

    These are great reminders that we should shift our gaze from ourselves and rest our eyes on Jesus. I love the line: “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.” I want to live a life where my joy (and my worship) are not based on my circumstances or even the blessings I may or may not receive or recognize. I want to live a life where I recognize that true joy comes from being in right relationship with Jesus and allowing that relationship to overflow into blessing the people around us.

  195. Carol November 10, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    Thank you, Liz, for defining “onomati” and the clarification this brings as to what to pray for! I am thankful that God hear our prayers for the daily things in our lives, but praying in His Name will bring joy that we can take with us to heaven; so much greater that the things we pray for that we will leave behind! What a wonderful word!

  196. Liz T. November 10, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    Our GOD is so wonderful and amazing! I needed this today as my younger sister recently suffered a massive stroke and the doctors basically saying there is no hope. (Going on 4 weeks now). I am standing on God’s promises! I am praying that the doctors and nurses and all who are familiar with her case see the mighty hand of God work wonders and they will bow their knee and come to know Him as Mighty God and their Lord and Savior!!! I pray she will be completely healed and restored and all will come to know “how great is our GOD!!!” Love and appreciate you sweet Liz!!! Thank you for always pointing us to JESUS!!! :o)

  197. Donna November 10, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    The Lord knows what our hearts truly desire and that is why His gifts are the perfect gifts. Nothing can compare to His Love, His Care and His knowing us intimately. Praise God for His Gifts!

  198. Laurie Peace November 11, 2015 at 7:56 am #

    God is so good! I was trying to wrestle with these very verses this morning in my daily scripture reading…and then I read your post. Ahhhh, yes. In His name, referring to what is all about who He is. That makes it all much clearer! Oh that I would get to the point where that is all I really want and ask for and rest content that He will take care of the rest! Blessings!