Before Christ went to the cross, He prayed to the Father and expressed His will that all of His followers possess “the full measure of His joy within them.”
There is a stark difference between the happiness of the world and the joy of the Lord. The world’s happiness depends on outward circumstances. In order for those who belong to the world to enjoy happiness, certain conditions must be met.
But Christ’s joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit; it is not dependent on outward circumstances. A man can be going through a difficult time in his life and still possess the joy of the Lord.
This is because it is an inner joy – a joy that wells up within one’s soul. Its source is the Holy Spirit. To the extent that we have completely surrendered our will to Christ is the extent that we will possess the full measure of His joy within us.
Examine your life closely. Is what you possess the outward happiness of the world (which is based on outward circumstances) or the inner spiritual joy of the Holy Spirit (which is not based on outward circumstances)?
If you do not have the inner joy of the Spirit, why do you think this is?
If you do possess it, write about what you have learned and experienced in your own life concerning the difference between the two.