We have been going on several walks together. For today’s walk, picture in your mind an enjoyable walk that you took with someone you love. Who was that someone? Why do you love that person? What made walking with that person enjoyable? What makes walking with that person a joyful experience? The same is true for your faith walk. When it comes to joy, our God offers us something more lasting than the world’s idea of happiness. Biblical joy is a deep inner gladness, regardless of the circumstances going on around you. It is supernatural, bringing to you a deep abiding peace and sense of contentment and strength. This kind of joy only comes to you through knowing Jesus Christ. That is Pathway #1. When you know Jesus Christ, you can walk through life with someone who loves you. This is post #2 in our “Joyful Walk” series.
Listen to this post as a podcast from our Pathways to a Joyful Walk Bible Study:
In the first article, we talked about our life with God being called a faith walk. Just like physical walking is a process of movement in a specific direction using our legs, a faith walk is also a process of moving toward trusting and relying on God more. It is dependent on open communication between what you know about God in your head and what you believe about Him in your heart. Your faith walk is influenced by daily choices of where you will go. Those choices determine whether your faith walk will be a joyful one or not.
When it comes to joy, our God offers us something more lasting than the world’s idea of happiness. Biblical joy is a deep inner gladness, regardless of the circumstances going on around you. It is supernatural, bringing to you a deep abiding peace and sense of contentment and strength. This kind of joy only comes to you through knowing Jesus Christ.
Christianity is Christ.
Christianity is Christ! It is not a lifestyle. It’s not rules of conduct. It’s not a society of people who have joined together by the sprinkling or covering of water. Christianity is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus invites every man, woman, and child into a close relationship with Himself as brothers, sisters, and friends, just like He invited those who knew Him 2000 years ago. But who is Jesus?
Know Jesus as the God who can meet your needs.
The New Testament teaches that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sins and rose again so that we could have eternal life just by believing in Him as the Savior.
Jesus claimed to be God.
You may have heard people say, “Jesus never claimed to be God.” But you now know that is not true. When you look at the text of the first four books of the New Testament which tell of Jesus’ life, you can see that Jesus openly claimed to be God. We looked at just a few of those claims in this lesson. Jesus consistently called God His Father. He declared His right to judge and said that He deserves the honor that belongs to God. Those are pretty radical statements. The works He was doing could only be done by God.
In His trials before the Jewish and Roman leaders, Jesus did not defend Himself against the accusations being made against Him. But He did speak about something especially.
This is what He said in Mark chapter 14:
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:61-62).
He clearly and boldly claimed His identity as the promised anointed one of God. He claimed to be the Son of Man who was also the Son of God.
Jesus is both God and Lord.
All God’s powers and attributes are in Jesus. There is nothing missing. There is nothing more of God that we can get apart from Jesus.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Jesus], (Colossians 1:19)
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, (Colossians 2:9)
Jesus Christ is fully God and is Lord over all. In the New Testament, Jesus is called the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is His title. It comes from the Greek word christos, which translates the Hebrew title “Messiah” meaning “anointed one.” According to Psalm 110:1, the Messiah would sit at the right hand of God and be called Lord. Jesus claimed this for Himself and is now sitting at God’s right hand. Jesus is the Christ and the Lord. He is powerful enough to meet your needs.
Jesus was not just a good teacher. He claimed and demonstrated that He is fully God in human flesh. That is equally important. You can know Jesus as a human who understands your needs.
Know Jesus as a human who understands your needs.
Jesus is fully human. We have a harder time wrapping our brains around that fact than we do believing He was God. Yet, Jesus experienced the normal process of body development from a child to an adult man. He obeyed His parents and learned to live with at least 4 brothers and 2 sisters.
In His human body, Jesus felt hunger and thirst. Tears fell down His cheeks when His friends were hurting. He had the normal human emotional response of anger against the stubborn hearts of the religious people who opposed Him and were not teachable.
During the last hours before His death, He experienced distress and pain just as you and I would. He was completely human while being completely God. None of us can really understand how this is, but we must accept it as truth.
Jesus understands human needs.
Because Jesus was fully human, He understands every single one of your heartaches and my heartaches. He experienced human life for more than 30 years. He understands your physical pain, feelings of rejection, and strained relationships. He understands your abuse, grief, and impatience because those were part of His life as well.
Jesus met human needs.
Jesus interacted with men and women everywhere He went. And there were so many who had heartaches and pain, filled with uncertainty about their future. He looked upon the crowds of people with compassion. He not only felt their need but also wanted to do something about it. And He acted.
Jesus lived as a human but did not sin.
Jesus was fully human, but He did not sin. He was able to do that because He loved God perfectly, He lived in perfect dependence on God the Father and perfect obedience. We cannot live a sinless life as He did. Yet, He experienced every temptation to sin that we experience. He understands all the challenges we face. And in His life, He gave us a pattern to follow so that we can learn to love God, to depend upon Him by faith, and to live in obedience to Him.
Jesus demonstrated how much He loved and valued women.
The Lord Jesus also demonstrated in His life on earth how much He loved and valued women. He taught them truth about God, forgave them for their sins, accepted them in His circle of followers, and gave new life to them after His resurrection.
His care for them was so countercultural to what they had previously known. Women recognized that and responded with love for Him and a desire to serve him. Jesus Christ entered into the midst of their lives, visibly representing God to them, loving them dearly, and changing their lives forever! He does the same for you and me today. See this in the “Live Out His Love” Bible Study and “Satisfied by His Love” Bible Study.
Jesus understands and acts on your behalf.
Because Jesus is the God-man, you can be confident of two things. (1) As fully human, He understands how you feel. (2) As fully God, He is powerful enough to take care of your every need.
When you go to Him in prayer, you can trust that He understands, that He knows how you are feeling, and that He knows what your needs are at that moment. You can trust His compassion for you to meet your needs. Are you confident of that?
Our Heartbreak to Hope Bible Study will teach you more about who Jesus is and why you can trust Him.
Your joyful walk begins with knowing Jesus.
The more you know Him, the easier it is to trust Him. You don’t have more faith by talking about faith. Getting to know the object of your faith increases your confidence in Him. The Bible describes that confidence as having your feet firmly planted on solid rock with God as your Rock. That is a solid pathway. He is a trustworthy God.
Rebecca Carrell, a wonderful teacher of God’s Word and a friend of mine, said this:
God wants you to follow His Son. But you won’t follow someone you don’t trust. You can’t trust someone you don’t know, and you cannot know Christ apart from His Word. (Rebecca Carrell, heartstrongfaith.com)
That is why it is so important to study the Bible. We have not physically seen the risen Christ as the apostles did. We must see Him through eyes of faith and allow the gospels to leap off the page revealing our Lord.
Jesus gives us His joy.
The more you trust Jesus the more you experience His joy. That is right. Jesus wants His joy to be in you abundantly. This is what He promised to His followers:
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11)
Peter was one of those listening to Jesus’ words. He recognized that what Jesus promised, He also fulfilled. I love what the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write in his first letter:
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… (1 Peter 1:8)
“Though you have not seen Him.” That is us today. You and I have not seen Him physically on this earth. But the moment you believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you. And He fills you with God’s glorious, uncontainable joy.
Jesus took hold of me when I was 19, and I’ve been on this great adventure ever since. My life is a gift of God, full of blessings in the midst of difficult challenges. The more I’ve learned and experienced God’s absolutely amazing grace, the more I’ve discovered my faith walk to be a joyful walk. I have been stepping through life satisfied by Jesus every day.
Jesus invites you to come to Him and receive His joy.
My joyful walk began when I put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior by trusting in what He said about Himself and believing that He died on the cross for me. Have you done that? If you aren’t sure, I invite you to do so today, right now.
Please consider praying this prayer:
Thank you, God, for loving me and for sending Your Son Jesus to die for my sins. I trust in Jesus Christ to be my personal Savior and turn my entire life over to You. Amen.
If you did that, tell someone.
As soon as you trust in Christ to be your Savior, you begin a loving relationship with Him. Your faith walk. You receive complete love and acceptance by God as your Father. You receive treasure that is yours to know and experience for the rest of your earthly life. When you trust in Christ, He is in your life forever. You will never be without him. Ever.
Pathway #1 to a joyful walk is “Start with Knowing Jesus Christ.” What happens after you know Jesus and trust in Him? The answer to that question leads us to Pathway #2: Bask in God’s Grace. That is the next blog.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with joy so that your daily walk with Him will be a joyful one.
Learn more about having a rewarding spiritual life through our Pathways to a Joyful Walk Bible Study (6 lessons).
- Pathways to a Joyful Walk Bible Study (6 lessons)
- Satisfied Series 15 Podcasts (Joyful Walk series)
- The Promise of a Joyful Walk: 6 pathways to joy
- Pathway #1: Start with Knowing Jesus Christ
- Pathway #2: Bask in the Grace of God
- Pathway #3: Grasp Who You Are
- Pathway #4: Choose Whom You Will Serve
- Pathway #5: Claim Your Freedom in Christ
- Pathway #6: Keep Moving Forward
- Graceful Living Today Daily Devotional
- Graceful Living Bible Study on Amazon
- Heartbreak to Hope Bible Study (the gospel of Mark)
- Satisfied by His Love Bible Study (women who knew Jesus)
- Live Out His Love Bible Study (New Testament women)
- Stop the “Jesus Is Not Lord over All” Infection
Image credit: photo by John Newton, accessed at flickr.com (8162179887_0c6797557b_o.jpg)..