How do you stay joyful when life is crumbling around you?

Martin Janus knew the answer: Stay in love with Jesus.

At least twice in his life, the 16th century church musician had to flee his Polish homeland because of religious persecution. Yet despite his trials, Janus remained joyful in Jesus. In 1661, he wrote a 19 verse poem entitled “Jesus, My Soul’s Bliss”.

Here are verses 6 & 17:

“Blest am I, that I have Jesus!
O how tightly I cling to Him,
so that He delights my heart
when I am sick and sad.
I have Jesus, who loves me
and gives Himself to me as my own;
ah, therefore I will not let go of Jesus,
even if my heart is breaking.

“Jesus shall remain my joy,
my heart’s comfort and sap;
Jesus shall fend off all sorrow.
He is the strength of my life,
he delight and sun of my eyes,
the treasure and wonder of my soul;
therefore I will not let Jesus go
out of my heart and sight.” [Source]

Sixty years later, the brilliant Baroque composer J.S. Bach orchestrated the tune and used the verses above as part of a cantata on the birth of Christ.

The song Bach wrote? “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”.

Bliss in His Presence

How is it with you? Is it pure bliss to be with Jesus?

Don’t panic if you can’t answer that with an honest “YES!” It’s something we all struggle with at times.

The devil constantly throws life in our faces to keep us from enjoying Jesus. But Jesus came to give “life more abundantly.” John 10:10. How does He give us His abundant life?

Jesus gave His disciples the secret to the abundant life the night before His crucifixion.

“Abide in Me and I in you… If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you may ask what you desire, and it shall be done for You. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit… As the Father has loved me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandment and abide in His love… These things I have told you that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:4,7-11. 

Abiding in Jesus’ love and friendship is the secret to living the abundant life.

Let’s boil that down:

  • Abide in Me and My Word.
  • Ask and receive.
  • Bear much fruit.
  • The Father and I have loved you.
  • Keep my commandments.
  • Your joy will be full.

Boil it down one more time

  • Abide = love = joy

What’s the secret to the abundant life? Abiding in God’s love. By the way, it’s also the secret to living a life of holiness and victory over sin.

How do we do abide (live) in God’s love? Here’s five simple ways to make abiding in Jesus a daily reality:

What’s the secret to the abundant life? Abiding in God’s love. By the way, it’s also the secret to living a life of holiness and victory over sin.

How do we do abide (live) in God’s love? Here’s five simple ways to make abiding in Jesus a daily reality:

  1. Take time to be with Jesus as soon as you wake up. Don’t have an agenda for this time with Jesus. Simply savor the opportunity to be with your Savior and Best Friend. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
  2. Ask Jesus to give you an experience of His love. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open your mind and heart to God’s love and truth. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
  3. Read the Bible to find Jesus (not to prove a point). Especially spend time reading the Gospels and imagining yourself in the stories. Consider how each story reveals Jesus’ love. “The scriptures are they which testify of me…” John 5:39
  4. Converse with Jesus each day. Talk to Him in prayer and listen to Him. Write down the things you learn and think about them throughout the day. Let your conversation run all day long by talking to Jesus about everything that happens. “If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we would talk with a friend. He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Often there will come to us a sweet joyful sense of the presence of Jesus.” Ellen White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 129.
  5. Thank and praise Jesus for every evidence of His love and care for you. The more you cherish the evidences of His love, the more you will notice His goodness. “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

Jesus longs to give each of us the gift of His love and abiding presence. Will you give Him time today to become the joy of your heart’s desire?

Jesu’ joy of man’s desiring
Thou whose love shines down like a guiding light
Drawn to Thee with souls aspiring
Through our Father we reach a celestial height. (Source)

**All Scriptures taken from the New King James Version.

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