Completing your Joy

24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

John 16:24 New International Version (NIV)

What does it mean to have your joy made complete.  In this verse Jesus is talking about asking the Father for anything in His name.  And He said that our “joy will be complete”.  Does that just mean that we will be happy like a kid on Christmas who received a present?

Not quite.  

Joy = “Chara”

The word joy here is the Greek word “chara”.  According to Strong’s Greek,

Cognate: 5479 xará (another feminine noun from the root xar-, “extend favor, lean towards, be favorably disposed”) – properly, the awareness (of God’s) grace, favor; joy (“grace recognized”).

Strong’s Greek: 5479. χαρά (chara) — joy, delight

Joy is the awareness of God’s grace (His favor) in operation in your life.  So when you ask and receive from God, you are recognizing the grace in operation in your life and … “your joy is made complete”.  

Paul expresses this same thought in Romans 15:30-32. Paul asks for prayer that…

He may be delivered from those in Judea and also that his joy would be complete in coming to them in Rome. 

30 I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31 Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, 32 so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed.

Romans 15:30-32 New International Version (NIV)

He’s asking that they pray and work with Him in the spirit that through those prayers he would be able to identify and recognize God’s grace or favor in operation in his life and thus his joy would be complete. 

Not Just Happiness

Generally we see joy as happiness, but it is so much more than that.  It’s not related to a feeling just as compassion is not related to a feeling.  It’s a choice to see God’s grace in operation in our lives. 

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