Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 11:24b
One day, one of my students at a language centre walked in looking so disgruntled it showed in every bit of his person; frowning, pouting, shuffling and grumbling.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
He answered, “ Yesterday, my football coach told me that I had made the football team and I was happy. But today he told me that I was no longer a part of it, and now I feel as if I wasted my happiness yesterday.”
Of course, I tried to placate the student, but in vain, for a week later he shared that he had decided to quit football, his favorite sport, because of the incident.
I have discovered that oftentimes my joy is like this eleven year old’s. When things are going well, I tend to be joyful and when they are not, I get angry and frustrated to the point of quitting. It is because of this human predilection of “short-lived joy” that Jesus Christ offered a way out of the predicament. He told us to ask Him, through prayer, to restore our joy.
Prayer is the safeguard for our joy as Christians. No Christian can live a joyful life that is not immersed in prayer. The life of Christ was one of joy: the disciples discovered this early in their ministry when they asked Jesus Christ to teach them how to pray. Prayer they wisely perceived was the source of the power they needed to live joyful lives.
By the time Jesus was getting ready to leave the earth, His exhortation was that they might continue to pray by exhorting them to ask, seek and knock. In this pattern they would receive whatever they asked in His name and that their joy would be full. (John 11:24b)
The same Joy that Jesus promised His first disciples is still available to us. Instead of walking around with a sour countenance or quitting on life like the eleven year old in my story, we can ask for help from our Lord and King. And since the one who promised is faithful; he will take our burdens and give us His joy. Just ask.