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1 John 1:4: That Our Joy May Be Complete

1 John 1:4
[4] And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (ESV)

Joy is truly a concept that this world does not understand.  Most people mistake the concept of joy with happiness.  Happiness is circumstantial.  People pursue things, events, and even people in the hopes that they will be the recipients of happiness.  What we discover in these pursuits as that any happiness that is obtained is temporary.  None of the things, events, or people that we encounter can provide for us eternal happiness.  And the other thing to note is that this pursuit of happiness is based on what we can receive, what we can take.

In our text in 1 John 1:4 we find a very different principle here.  The Apostle John is writing the things he is writing for the purpose of giving the recipients joy!  Two things are very important to note.  First of all, we discover that John cares about others receiving joy. He is concerned about giving, not taking.  Secondly, he is giving something far greater than happiness.  He is giving the recipients an eternal truth that gives eternal joy, that is not based on circumstances, but rather this joy remains, in spite of circumstances!

These words by the Apostle John should remind us of the words of Jesus himself that John recorded in his Gospel:

John 15:11
[11] These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (ESV)

Just like the Savior, whom John loved, John wants the joy that he has received in Jesus Christ to be fully experienced by those whom he has told the truth of the Gospel to.  There is something about a true disciple of Jesus Christ that finds the greatest joy in seeing others come to know the eternal life-giving joy of Jesus Christ.  That is what the Apostle John was all about.  And he is telling us that is what his letter is all about.

Do you know the eternal joy of knowing Jesus Christ?  Or are you chasing temporal happiness?  If you have the joy of knowing Jesus, have you experienced the greater joy of sharing it with others?