• Beth Hildebrand

A Full Measure Of Joy

Happy Friday friends!  We’ve made it through week 3 of COVID19 in Burlington NC!  Today, let’s continue to think about Jesus’ prayer in John 17.

I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:13-19)  Jesus

Well, God has honored that prayer request Jesus gave Him, hasn’t He? Jesus didn’t ask God to take us away from “worldly” or bad things, but instead to protect us from the evil one when we ARE tempted and physically and spiritually attacked. Sometimes I ask God, “Why do you still allow the enemy to try to wreak havoc on me, on us, your children?”

But then I go back and read verses 6-19 and unexpectedly my eyes begin to water.  This prayer was spoken from the deep love Jesus has for his disciples, for us.  This is God-flesh, Jesus a real man with the same human feelings and emotions we have, praying FOR us.  Because he cares so much for our well-being.  FOR OUR JOY!  This love-prayer is said from the bottom of Jesus’ heart.  He prayed, “I pray for them,” because he knew we needed it with the future that awaits them.  He was so proud of his disciples and friends for their willingness to learn and live out his teachings and obeying what he had to say, with the ultimate joy of them believing that God sent him to them.  And he gave all the credit to God, not himself.  He also prayed a couple of times in this prayer for our protection of the evil one, like a mentioned above.  Again, because he cares greatly for us.

One of the most beautiful parts of this prayer I think, is when Jesus prays for us to “have the full measure of my joy within them.”

Even though they faced many scary challenges – of spreading the gospel and love of Christ in that day and age – they can STILL experience JOY because of the hope and trust they have in Jesus. God and Jesus are filled with love, JOY and peace, and we are made in His image and He wants us to feel and experience that joy within us, too – even when times are hard. That joy is what gives us hope! That joy is what helps us get through grief, through darkness, through depression, through difficult time, through broken relationships, through pandemics, through isolation.

May you, friends, understand and experience that joy, too!  May we live out this prayer daily!

Beth

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