Experiencing Supernatural Joy

from Aug 29, 2010 Category: R.C. Sproul

In John’s Gospel, Jesus expounded His declaration that He is the vine and we are the branches: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).

This text indicates that the joy of the Christian is not the natural joy of human life. It is a supernatural joy insofar as it has a supernatural source. It is the work of Christ within us. Though Jesus spoke of His joy being in us, it is still our joy once it is in us. He is its source and its power, but it is still our joy.

Jesus also spoke of the end or purpose of His joy remaining in us, namely, that our joy may be full. The term full speaks of a degree, in this case an ultimate degree. There is no more joy than full joy. Yet we can experience partial joy or less than full joy, not because there are fluctuations in Jesus’ joy, but because there are fluctuations in the degree of our abiding in Christ.

We cannot fall out of Christ, but in the process of sanctification we experience greater and/or lesser degrees of clinging closely to Him. Here our wills are important in that we are called to abide in Christ.

Coram Deo: Ask God for supernatural joy to flood your life.

John 15:11: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

Isaiah 61:1, 3: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me … to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Isaiah 61:7: “Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.”