After having spent three years with Jesus–traveling, sleeping, eating, witnessing miracles, listening, comes the “upper room discourse.” In John 13-17 we read of the final teaching, the final meal, the final words of encouragement before being betrayed, abandoned and crucified. (see here for the first post in this abiding series). While teaching His disciples this final time, Jesus promises true peace and joy:
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
God created us with the capacity and desire for joy and peace. And Jesus teaches here that their experience of joy and peace is linked inseparably with their need to listen to His words. Or, think of it this way–your soul, filled with anxiety and despairing thoughts and fears and doubts and grief and quickly losing hope….your soul needs His Word.
He created you for this! This Joy. This Peace.
He has spoken that you may have peace–peace in Him. In Him. Not from Him, not apart from Him, not a handout that you must take care not to lose or squander. In Christ.
He has spoken that you may have joy, fulness of joy; that kind that surpasses any experience of happiness you have known. The kind that is found only in His presence, in abiding.
In Him, listening to what He has spoken. Not seeking after a new word. Not a new revelation. Fresh–always fresh, never stale–yet not a dream or a vision just for you. Not a word apart from what He HAS spoken. We do not disdain the Fountain of living waters, we drink deeply. (for more on how, and on the feast that His Word can be for us, see here.)
The promised Spirit has come; and as promised He is our teacher. (see here) He is the “another Helper” that Jesus promised. The Spirit accompanied Jesus, and will now accompany those who are in Christ. As Jesus teaches this, the beautiful mystery of the Trinity can be seen in another facet.
John 16:14-15 “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.”
The Spirit ensured that what Jesus spoke would be remembered and written down. We do well to pay heed to it. We cannot experience, enjoy, or rest in His joy or peace apart from what He has spoken.
3 thoughts on “Joy and Peace are not a Dream”
Thank you for the reminder that God wants us to have both peace and joy—and they can only be found in relationship with him. When my relationship with him is off, I’ve discovered that my feelings of hopelessness and sadness start to creep in.
Yes! What a fantastic reminder of how desperately we need to soak in his Word. I especially love the part about not seeking a new revelation. We have more revelation in God’s Word than we can even begin to handle. Thanks Emily!