The title may be a little misleading but I can’t help but think of the movie “Jerry Maguire” as I work on this part of my current series on John 13-17. After a tumultuous relationship threatens divorce, Jerry (Tom Cruise) bursts into the home he shared with his wife, Dorothy (Renee Zellweger), and Dorothy’s sister. Jerry arrives during the ladies’ divorce support group meeting; despite the setting, he declares his love for Dorothy by saying, “You…complete…me.”
My Sunday morning class continues to study through John 13-17. This week we studied John 15:11, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (NIV). This verse got me to wondering what it means for our joy to be complete. As I dug into the concordances and Bible dictionaries, I found that in this context, for something to be complete, means not only to make perfect but also something predicted has come to pass.
If the idea of completed joy was predicted, or prophesied as one might say in Christian speak, I wondered where. I found my answer in Psalm 16:11. At the end of a prophecy of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, this verse prophesies we will be filled with joy in His presence.
So there is our Old Testament prophecy; where is the New Testament fulfillment? In the NT, ten aspects of our Christian life complete our joy; I think these are a mere sampling of the ultimate fulfillment which will take place when we are united with Christ for eternity.
Joy is completed when…
- The bridegroom announces His arrival (John 3:29).
- We remain, or dwell, in the love of Jesus (John 15:11).
- Jesus rose from the grave. We can now have a relationship with Him and God the Father (John 16:19-24).
- We follow the teachings of Jesus (John 17:13).
- We follow the call of Christ even if it leads to persecution (Acts 13:49-52).
- We trust God (Romans 15:13).
- We extend encouragement, comfort, relationship, tenderness, compassion, and unity to one another because Christ extends those things to us (Philippians 2:1-2).
- We unite with someone else who is faithfully serving Christ (2 Timothy 1:3-4).
- We proclaim the message of Christ (1 John 1:3-4).
- We come together in person, a rare thing in our technological day, to mutually edify and encourage one another in the Lord (2 John 1:12).
A lot of things are stressful in my life right now and my joy seems low.
As I sit and look over my messed up areas, I realize the list of times when God completes our joy speaks to all of these messes in one way or another.
Live at peace with one another
Proclaim His message
Remain in His love
Let Him...Complete...His joy...in Me.
Look back over the list of ten areas where God completes His joy in us. Which one might help relieve some of the stress in your life right now? I'd love to read your thoughts in the comments below...