What is the true source of joy during both good and bad times?
A tree doesn’t grow without the flowing water beneath the surface. The storms may blow but the water flowing below the ground keeps the tree growing. Digging our roots into Christ and letting the Spirit flow in our lives brings joy. I look back on storms in my life and am reminded of this truth. When I clung to Christ, I got through the storms.
Today I was reminded that joy is not found in positive circumstances. Joy is found in abiding in Christ through all events – both good and bad.
4“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
5-8“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
9-10“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
11“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.