That Our Joy May Be Full

When was the last time that your joy was full? I mean, in every sense of the word “full”? No part fear, no part sorrow. No lack, no traces of longing or dissatisfaction somewhere deep inside. You are content and your joy is pure and unsullied. Maybe for you, it was last Christmas or yesterday or this morning. For me, I can’t remember the last time. It was too long ago, a time when good health was mine to enjoy. For even when my son was born, a day I would have celebrated with trumpets blowing, sorrow filled my heart. I was blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby boy, but I was too sick and weak to relish the moment. Instead of my heart being filled with joy, it was filled with fear. It has been that way since my health was stolen and in its place is sickness and suffering: joy mixed with sorrow. If that were even possible.

This was just a super quick doodle on my mixed media journal. But if you look closer, notice the metallic gold, copper, and ruby on the petals’ and leaves’ edges. For aren’t answered prayers and fulfilled dreams like gilded things?

Since around Christmas last year, I had been feeling depleted and running on low (if not empty). I couldn’t seem to put my heart and mind into a place where I could move in a steady rhythm once again and with some measure of contentment and joy. So, I just let myself float and wait for fresh grace and inspiration to come. Although all that time, I continued steadfastly in prayer.

The night I started to write this, I felt some sense of peace and courage flowing in to continue to serve the Lord with all I am and to love Him just as much. In a subtle, almost imperceptible way, I felt a fresh and much deeper still commitment to do those things that are pleasing in God’s eyes creeping into my heart, spreading quietly but surely. I needed that fresh watering of my soul for I had been writing on my prayer journal, asking the Lord to not let me grow cynical.

I remembered the Lord Jesus’ words —

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mat. 11:28)

“…he who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

His love and words woo us back to Him, faithfully and fervently abiding in Him.

I was revived, rekindled, and wooed back into the happy place of loving and following the Lord Jesus Christ. It didn’t come like a rushing wind, or a mighty fire from heaven, or a flood that swept me. It came like a soft feather caressing my face, like a warm flannel gently wrapped around me by unseen hands. I had to strain my ears to listen, to make sure it was there alright.

When I woke up the next morning, my soul whispered, “I love You, my Father, my dearest Lord Jesus Christ”, even before I opened my eyes.

I know, it is well with my soul.

Sometimes when I desire so much to get well and be able to go out, doing the things I’ve been so wanting to do, like traveling and testifying of the grace and mercy of God, a voice whispers in my mind. It tempts me to feel guilty asking for those things that will make me full of joy. Most of the time, it succeeds. I listen, and then feel guilty. But when I reached John 16, I was freed through the Lord’s words. Surely, I have read it numerous times before, but this time, it took on a new color, the very thing that I needed.

“…ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24)

That voice in my head has been lying, for the Lord Jesus tells me differently.

It’s okay to not feel joy-full when we’re deeply longing for something, like healing perhaps. We need not feel guilty if we feel sorrow not receiving the things we so desire. That doesn’t make us ungrateful. And yes, it’s okay to desire the things that will do us a world of good. Even the Lord knows that it’s only when we have received what we asked for that our joy may be full. He’s saying that, until we ask and receive it, its absence in our lives leaves much to be desired and our joy is not complete.

It’s okay to desire and ask and believe that whatever we’re asking for from His hand will make us full of joy.

A healing.

A child.

A friend.

A love.

A yes.

A relationship mended.

A marriage repaired.

A family restored.

A loved one’s salvation.

A place visited.

A dream fulfilled.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.(1 John 5:14-15)

Because, you know what? He’s all there. He is in that place where our joy becomes full. He is there waiting to give it to us, to rejoice with us in the receiving.

Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

The Lord is inviting us, encouraging us, beckoning to us with His outstretched hands.

Ask.

Receive.

Be joy-full.

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Comments

  1. Ruth says:

    I love the way you describe how you were able to perceive the Lord’s voice, that He “came like a soft feather caressing my face, like a warm flannel gently wrapped around me by unseen hands.”
    May that beginning of the fountain of joy bubble up in you to greater and greater heights and wash away all the hardness caused by the lying tempter till your heart, soul, mind, and body become whole, fully healed by Jehova Rapha. In Jesus’ name, Amen

    • Ruth says:

      I have a friend who is struggling with joy issues, so I shared your post with her. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you so much, Ruth, for the prayer in faith for my healing. Blessings to you! And thanks, too, for sharing this. I pray your friend will be blessed by my story.

  2. Hazel Moon says:

    That shrill voice that condemns is one we often think it is us. “Remember when you did that, or thought this and were not kind and loving?” The accuser is right there to pull you down into the pity pit. The Holy Spirit reminded me to use my voice and say, “Therefore there is NO condemnation to me because I walk in the Spirit and NOT in the flesh.” May we rejoice in knowing Jesus loves us and cherishes us so very much. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  3. Tracey says:

    Love what you shared here! I’ve been focusing on my prayer life lately, and trying to meditate on Bible verses about prayer. I’m so encouraged to know that God hears and answers my prayers as I pray for things that are in His will for me ~ like peace, joy, and grace for my trials.

    • RinaPeru says:

      I’m so very glad to hear that God is faithful in your life, Tracey. He is in mine, too. Yes, He does answer our prayers and more. He’s wonderful!

  4. So hard to enter into His joy from a place like this. I’m sorry for your pain and challenges! Praising Him that as you testify, it takes just that moment. In the words of the Casting Crowns’ song, we’re “just one step away.” Praise Him for His mercy, grace, and delight in being our source of joy!

    • RinaPeru says:

      There are struggles for sure, Bethany. But He never fails to come through during the most difficult and painful trials. He is a merciful God and we just have to cling to that truth.

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