Yesterday we talked about our Lord God using our storms for His glory. The good news about that is that He has a purpose for our lives. And what should give us even more hope and joy is that Jesus Himself prayed for us before He died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected by the power of the Lord: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.” (Eph. 1:7-8)
Jesus prayed, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your Word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your Word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17:13-26)
The key to immeasurable joy is living in intimate contact with Christ, the source of all joy. When we do, we will experience God’s special care and perfection and see the victory God brings even when defeat seems certain. “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9) Our eternal joy is in the Lord alone; everything else is temporary.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Eph 1:3) Every spiritual blessing means that we have all the benefits of knowing God–being chosen for salvation, being adopted as His children, forgiveness, insight, the gifts of the Spirit, power to do God’s will, and the hope of living forever with Christ. Because we have an intimate relationship with Christ, we can enjoy these blessings now.
And spiritually, we are already with Christ in the heavenly realms. In response to Jesus’s prayer, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world” (John 17:24), God the Father has already raised us up with Christ. “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:6-7)
So no matter what storms we are facing today, we already live in victory in Jesus Christ. We have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven. The enemies of God have no power over us. If you aren’t living in victory now, in Jesus’s name, take back all the ground you have given the enemy. Because the devil can’t take anything from us, we must give it willingly. Jesus prayed, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:15) And our heavenly Father will do just that in Jesus’s name. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) Choose to be joyful in Christ’s victory!