“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4).
Look at what John wrote here. In a few simple words, he expresses what should be one of the great advantages we, as covenant people, have — and that is the promise of joy.
As Christians, we are often told not to go by feeling, that faith is not feeling, and that we need to get beyond our feelings, all of which is true. But at the same time, we would not be human beings if we were not creatures of feelings, emotions, and moods. We cannot deny our feelings; what we need to do is understand them, give them their proper role, and as much as possible, keep them under control. But to deny them is to deny what it means to be human (we might as well tell a circle not to be round). Indeed, as this verse says, not only should we have feelings (in this case joy), but they should be full. It hardly sounds as if feelings are to be denied, does it?
Read the context of the above verse, starting at the beginning of the chapter. What was John writing to the early Christians that he hoped would make their joy full? And why should it give them joy?
John was one of the original Twelve. He was there, almost from the start of Christ’s three-and-a-half-year ministry, a witness to some of the most amazing events of Jesus’ life. (John was there at the Cross, at Gethsemane, and at the Transfiguration, as well). Thus, as an eyewitness, he was certainly well-qualified to talk about this subject.
Yet, notice too, that the emphasis is not on himself; it is on what Jesus had done for the disciples so they could now have fellowship not only with each other but with God Himself. Jesus has opened the way for us to enter into this close relationship with the Lord; and, one result of this fellowship — this relationship — is joy. John wants them to know that what they have heard about Jesus is true (he saw, touched, felt, and heard Him), and thus they, too, can enter into a joyful relationship with their heavenly Father, who loves them and gave Himself through His Son for them.
|In a certain sense, John is giving his own personal testimony. What is your own testimony regarding your relationship with Jesus? What could you say that could help increase someone’s joy in the Lord, as John sought to do here?|