• Jason Wade


9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.11 I have told you this so that MY joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

John 15:9-11

OK, I think that we need a little joy and happiness today. I don't know why, but today God just put it in my head to really spend some time just rejoicing on the fact that He is God and HE LOVES US. There are so many things in our day that can cause us to question how can we find any sense of happiness in this chaos filled world. Our lives have been flipped and turned inside out and many of us don't fully know what the upcoming year is even going to look like. How can we be happy when we still have questions about our families, schools, futures, economy, health, etc... You are right. I find myself in that same situation many days as I think how in the world can I even begin to think about more virtual student ministry in the coming days. Then I pause and stop and say.. WAIT... If God is in control of my life and I am truly stepping into the days ahead, then I am connected to the CREATOR of all things that promises to fill me with JOY and that I will be complete.

You know I move back to some of my original statements that I used when I first began this blog. I believe that God has a bigger plan and the more that it runs into our lives the more we will begin to realize that God's joy will be made complete in us. BUT we have to figure a way to stop looking at the world as a our oyster and see it as our mission field. We look at the opportunities to try and help others see happiness through the eyes of Jesus. I know that is hard because the reality is that life is different. But it is not the first time in the history of the world that there has been a major culture shift. The coolest thing is that we are now a

part of the new direction in which God is redirecting the world. We will be a part of the history books and how we respond is important to the survival of all things. I have found that the biggest thing I have learned through the pandemic is that connection is important. People want to know that they are missed, they are loved and that they matter. And when they are able to accept that they matter and that they have a purpose you begin to see a new look that comes over their faces of happiness and joy that replace the void they have felt for such a long time.

So looking at the teaching today from the Book of John, we see Jesus trying to show us the importance of following His lessons. I mean it does not get any plainer than to realize that if we just follow what He is telling us that we will be able to live into a life of completeness. I mean earlier in the scripture, Jesus is telling us that we have to be connected to the Father to be able to truly grow and learn and to produce fruit. Through following the teachings of Jesus we will find the JOY that may be missing in our lives will be made full and complete when we stop trying to use Jesus as a wishing well. Yeah when things go wrong, there will be days that we get upset, frustrated, tired, angry, sad, etc... BUT if we are willing to follow along the path with Christ, Jesus is saying that God will begin to dwell within our hearts and renew within us a new spirit of happiness because we experience the world through the way God meant it to be. I know that may sound crazy, but slowing down and actually breathing and listening to the sounds of God's voice that are all around you will help us to really discern the path that will lead us out of this time of disparity. We must remain stedfast in our love for God and continue to believe that GOD is revealing the next steps to complete joy.

Once again I turn to a saying from my dad growing up. My dad use to tell me all the time that "Son, you will truly not be happy until you are able to grasp the fullness of God's calling." For the longest time that statement never made a lot of sense. I continued to hear him say that, but it was more like Charlie Brown's teacher and never came through with clarity. UNTIL, I became a dad. See, my dad was showing me how not only to succeed in life through my physical talents, but the importance of taking the time to help equip others and spend quality time with your family which will give you great joy. I couldn't see that until I was watching myself do the same thing for my girls. I could not fully experience the fullness of joy until I watched my daughters go and do the things they loved and found happiness in.

See, we will not always find happiness just in our lives, but by watching others find this peace and joy in Christ. When I hear my girls laugh and giggle over some of the craziest stuff, it has nothing to do with what they are doing, but everything to do with finding completeness with each other. They are experiencing true happiness that is not masked to the world because they have to live up to a certain standard, but when they feel comfortable to let it all out and not have a care in the world, you see the fullness of God pour out of their lives. What is the key to happiness, when we once again let go of the crazy in the world and invite God to show us the JOY that is to be revealed in HIS time. I am happy to be alive today so that I have another chance to hopefully get one step closer to complete JOY. Have a great day.

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