1 John 1:1-4
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
What would it take to make your joy complete? Maybe if all the worries running through your mind suddenly vanished. Maybe if your whole family was healthy and happy. Maybe if your financial needs were all met with an overflowing abundance of resources. Maybe if your faucet stopped dripping and your car stopped rattling and the sidewalks were never icy and you lost a few pounds and your favorite team won the big game. Then would your joy be complete? I can’t speak for you, but I know I have never lived a perfect day when everything in every corner of my life was just right with no hints of trouble anywhere. We live in a broken world where more things break all the time, so if joy comes from the absence of problems or from the accumulation of good things, then our joy will never be complete.
John learned about a different type of joy that comes from knowing Jesus. He met Jesus when he was a young man fishing with his brother James and their father Zebedee. John’s life and heart began to change that day, and in the coming years he heard, saw and touched Jesus, witnessing the glory and grace of the Savior right up close. John came to understand, perhaps sooner and more clearly than any of the other Disciples, that Jesus is fully God, the “Word of life” who has existed with God and as God “from the beginning.” John found in his relationship with Jesus a sweet fellowship and an inextinguishable joy that flow with the eternal life Jesus offers. John also experienced suffering and persecution, even being exiled from family and fellow believers, but none of the trials he endured could douse the flame of joy in his heart. He found the Christ and joyfully proclaimed that truth the rest of his life.
Joy happens in our souls. That’s why we can experience complete joy even through hardship and happiness, even while our emotions ebb and flow. We know Jesus, and He brings us joy. Like John, we have fellowship with God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. This eternal loving relationship fuels the joy in our souls, and nothing we face in this world can overcome it.
Father, Your love brings me joy. Thank You for sending Jesus to save me and to give me the hope of eternal life with You. Help me to share the joy in my heart with others. I ask this through Jesus Christ, the Word of life. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian