It is the joy of Jesus himself that we enter into as we abide in his love. This is the work of the Spirit. It is not a joy that we manufacture; it is a joy that we receive. And, just like Jesus, we enter into it through laying everything down at God’s feet. We die with Christ, and we share in his resurrection life.
Jesus’ teaching is that the kind of heart that reacts to others in anger is a heart that will lead me toward God’s judgment. Anger is a sin that fails to honor the precious people whom God has created. When I routinely directed anger at Katie over money matters, I was failing to see her as the kind of being to whom such anger simply should not be directed. She is too precious for that.
Somehow, my pain had become a place where I could experience God’s love. It was as though I needed the warm-up of paying attention to my emotions more intentionally for a few months before it was even possible for me to experience something like that. As I got to know my emotions for myself, I now could share them with God. I could find God in the sadness.