What is joy? Is it a benefit and results from being a disciple of Jesus?
Joy is closely related to gladness and happiness, although joy is more a state of being than an emotion; a result of choice. Having joy is part of the experience of being a disciple of Jesus. I want to have joy in my life. I want to be joyful.
Is joy a benefit of being a disciple of Jesus? Joy results from discipleship. Jesus asks very penetrating questions of us. Jesus is patient. Jesus is waiting for our answer. Will we accept His joy?
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”John 15:10–11
What will we say? We must say, “I hear you Master and I will do what you ask! I will be your slave.”
Obedience is critical to being a slave.
“Why do you call me, ‘Master, Master,’ and do not do what I say?” ~Jesus | Luke 6:46
Jesus continues on.
“As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
In some circles, the end game is to be saved. Now that is important but it is not the end game. Jesus outlines three steps:
- Come to Him (be saved and start the disciples journey)
- Hear his words (listen)
- Put them into practice (act and do)
There is more! Jesus wants to give us joy and make us exceedingly glad. We are willing to be filled with His joy and be full. Bring it on Master Jesus.
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”John 15:10–11 (NASB)
God speaks the truth to us through Jesus, our Master. As a slave, we hear His testimonies. They cause us to rejoice.
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.Psalm 119:14 (NASB)
How amazing that the gift of the Holy Spirit continually fills us with joy.
- Acts 13:52 (NASB) — And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 16:34 (NASB) — And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
One of the key items in the kingdom of Jesus is joy.
For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.Romans 14:17 (NASB)
The Holy Spirit brings joy to believers, giving us an inner contentment and happiness which is not dependent upon external circumstances.
The Greek word is χαρά chara, (khar-ah) meaning calm delight, gladness, greatly and to be exceeding joyful.
It is easy to forget about joy. It is essential in the Kingdom of God. The Beatitudes (aka The Jesus Manifesto) traditionally use the word “blessed”. Most translators agree the better translation is “Happy” or “More than Happy”. For the joy that was set before Jesus, he endured the crucifixion. The joy of the Lord is our strength.
- Romans 15:13 (NASB) — Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Galatians 5:22 (NASB) — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
- Philippians 1:25 (NASB) — Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.
- 1 Thessalonians 1:6 (NASB) — You also became imitators of us and of the Master, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
- Hebrews 10:34 (NASB) — For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.
- 1 Peter 1:6 (NASB) — In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
- 1 Peter 1:8 (NASB) — And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
- Jude 24 (NASB) — Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
History of the Christian Training Center
In the early 1970’s, Jay and Sally Fesperman had a vision to open a retreat center for businessmen. It was from this desire that they founded the Inn of Last Resort. In the simplest of words – “Life is Relationships” – Jay Fesperman defined the heart of the ministry. Since its inception, “The Inn” has been involved in training and giving counsel to numerous families, pastors and lay people. The “Inn of the Last Resort” aptly alludes to the condition of many people who have found their way to this sanctuary in the rural Smoky Mountains. As word of the ministry spread, our name was revised to Christian Training Center International. Learn more here.
In 1980, Larry and Susan Pons joined the Fespermans in the ministry. Before Jay’s passing in 1992, CTCI had grown to be more global in its influence. Expansion of the ministry’s impact began to reach overseas and has subsequently brought scores of fellow Christians here for training and renewal. During its existence, over 70,000 people from more than 60 nations have come through the doors seeking a deeper reality of God in their lives.
Our prayer and focus has remained the same for years. First, that Jesus be Lord over all, through all and in all. Secondly that healthy, Godly relationships will always be the driving force of this ministry. This is the heartbeat of the ministry that the Lord has given us, and it is one we trust the Lord will continue to lead us in until He returns.
Learn more here.