Jesus knew that rather than remind us about how God has loved us with an everlasting love, life instead constantly reminds us of our difficulties, heartaches and hardships. He says, "In the world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). He's saying, "Yes, you'll have troubles, but I've overcome the world, so cheer up. Brighten up your face."
You may be in a difficult situation today. Perhaps you've lost a loved one, or your child has got off course, and you feel sorrow. The key to staying strong in God is through partaking in His joy every day. When Nehemiah was encouraging the people in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem under extremely difficult circumstances, he said, "Go home and celebrate with a feast…for the joy of Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). He knew that only the joy of the Lord could sustain them and help them overcome their discouragement and anxieties.
The beauty of the joy that Jesus gives us is that it is not dependent on what is going on around us. Jesus prayed that His joy would "remain in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11). His joy is in us. When you said yes to Jesus, nothing changed on the outside, but He gave you a new heart on the inside and filled it with His joy. He's saying, "I've given you exactly what you need to defeat the power of the enemy and stay strong in this life."
His joy is inside you, but you must cultivate it. It's a bit like my lemon tree. When I planted it, there were no lemons on it. But I made sure the soil was right, and I watered it and fed it nutrients. I cultivated it, and eventually, the lemons that were in the tree came out for me to use. In a similar way, you have to tap into His joy. You have to develop it and practice it. The apostle Paul said it this way: "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice" (Philippians 4:4). To rejoice means "to brighten."
There's a light of Jesus' joy inside you. You just have to turn it on.