John 17.11-13 cont.
11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are, as I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them by Your name, the Name which You have given to Me, that they may be one even as We are.
12 When I was with them I kept and guarded them by Your Name, which You gave to Me, and none of them were lost, except the son of perdition, so that the scriptures should be fulfilled.
13 But now I am coming to You, and I say these things whilst in the world that they should have My joy fulfilled within themselves.
The prayer of Jesus was that His disciples should be filled with His joy.
Joy is something that we all like, but how can we define joy. It is different from happiness, although it may lead to our being happy.
The joy that Jesus talks about is in knowing that He is favourably disposed towards us. This is very similar to grace. It means knowing God’s favour on our life.
Jesus came full of grace and truth. The word grace and joy have the same root in Greek.
The joy of Jesus was in knowing His Father’s favour.
The joy of Jesus was in doing the Father’s will.
The joy of Jesus was in coming to save sinners, rescuing us from sin and death. This He did through His death on the cross.
The writer to the Hebrews wrote these words:
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterward. Now He is seated in the place of highest honour beside God’s throne in heaven – Hebrews 12.2 (NLT).
The prayer of Jesus was that His disciples should share in the same joy.
It is the joy that is able to endure tribulation and suffering.
 Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.
 For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything – James 1.2-4 (NLT).
The joy of Jesus is not the absence of trouble or tribulation, but it is the assurance that we are over comers in Jesus, and that nothing will ever separate us from His love.