“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)
C.S. Lewis entitled the story of his conversion Surprised by Joy. According to Jesus any disciple of His who follows Him and is fruitful will be surprised by joy when they discover one of the reasons why He exhorted us to be fruitful. Jesus was the most fruitful human being who ever lived and it brought Him great joy. He wanted that same joy to be our experience and He wants us to experience the joy that comes along with being fruitful.
When I first started in the ministry I worked with a senior pastor I loved and wanted to serve for a long time, but he placed me in a satellite startup new church. As I complained he shared this verse in the letter of Paul to the Galatians: “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” Some time passed before I became fruitful in that new church but when that happened I cannot begin to describe the joy that came along with knowing that God could use even me.
The Gospel of John tells us in chapter four that when Jesus gave the woman at a well an experience He described as a drink of living water Jesus was obviously euphoric and filled with joy. The apostles offered Him food to eat. He refused their offer and told them He had food to eat they knew nothing about. He said that His meat was to do the will of His Father and to finish His Father’s work.
Have you been surprised by the joy that comes from proving that God can use even you?