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True Joy

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.1


Do you realize that Jesus wants you to be full of joy? Not just full but overflowing with joy? It is important, though, that we do not confuse joy with happiness. “Aren’t they the same?”, you might ask. Well, no, they’re not; happiness is passing. Happiness is that feeling you get when you finally get to go on vacation, get a new pair of comfortable shoes, or dinner comes out perfectly. Joy goes much deeper; it comes from the memories you make while on that vacation, the adventures those comfortable shoes take you on, and the time spent around the dinner table with your loved ones that create a lasting joy that fills your life!

Writer C. W. Metcalf was working as a hospice volunteer when he met 13-year-old Chuck, who was terminally ill. One day Chuck gave Metcalf half-a-dozen sheets of paper with writing on both sides and said, "I want you to give this to my mom and dad after I die. It's a list of all the fun we had, all the times we laughed." Metcalf was amazed that this young boy on the verge of death was thinking about the wellbeing of others. Years later he decided to make a list of his own. Surprisingly, he found it difficult at first to compile his "joy list." But as he began looking each day for the moments of laughter, satisfaction, and joy, his list began to grow.2

This young boy had found joy in the fun he’d had with his family and in the laughter they’d shared. Each one of those moments had been seared in his heart and had filled him with joy, even in his last days. Throughout John chapter 15, Jesus tells His disciples to remain or abide in Him and that in itself would allow them to be full of joy. Jesus had taught them not to worry about tomorrow, but to live for today; he taught them to love others better than themselves; he taught them to live like Him, but more specifically in Him. In spending time with Jesus, those men had true joy.

Do you have a joy list? Can you look into your life and see the blessings that God has brought you? Do you stay focused on what He has done, is doing, and will do in your life? That is what will bring you true joy!

Suggested Prayer: Thank you, Father, for Your Word, which teaches me how to have true joy. Help me abide in You so that I might find pleasure in all the blessings You give. Allow me to overflow with Your joy! In Jesus’ name, Amen.


1.    John 15:11 (ESV).

2.    Illustration from



Today’s Encounter was written by: Veronica B.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.