This joy of mine has been made complete.

John the Baptist may not be someone we associate with joy. The Scriptures tell us that he lived in the desert, wore camel hair, and ate locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4). He preached boldly and didn’t pull any punches. So we might think of him as exactly the opposite of joyful: a gruff man who seldom cracked a smile. But here John says he is joyful—and not only that, but that his joy is “complete” (John 3:29).

How could that be? John had left his home, family, and the chance to serve in the Temple like his father. He spent his whole life preparing for the Messiah—never knowing when he would actually arrive. So when John finally saw that the Messiah had come, he had the joy of knowing that he had not labored in vain.

We can take comfort from John’s example. Many of us are also waiting for some kind of fulfillment. We may be at a difficult stage in raising a child. We may be going through a rough patch in our marriage or in a relationship with a close family member. Or we may have a challenging ministry as a priest or religious brother or sister. It might be difficult to feel much joy at these times. But whatever our situation is, we can still have hope. Because we know that if we stay faithful to our call, we will be rewarded in the end.

Jesus will fulfill every one of his promises. He’s promised that if we deny ourselves and follow him, we will find eternal life (Luke 9:24). He’s promised that whatever we give up for him, we will get back a hundredfold (Mark 10:29-30). And he’s promised that if we obey his commandments, our joy will be complete (John 15:11).

So take heart and rejoice today. Like John the Baptist, you can rejoice that Jesus, the Messiah, has come. You can rejoice that you will see him when he comes again. And you can trust that in the end, Jesus will make your joy complete.

“Lord, I trust that as I remain faithful to your call in my life, you will be faithful to your promises and will bring me joy.”

1 John 5:14-21
Psalm 149:1-6, 9
John 3:22-30


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