Joy-FULL (I John 1:4)
I John 1:4, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
John wants his readers to know joy. When you experience meaningful, intimate fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, you will experience true joy that is not dependent on your circumstances and that is not found anywhere else. True joy surpasses external circumstances. It is stability on the inside in spite of what is occurring on the outside.
Joy means an inner gladness, a deep seated pleasure. It is the depth of assurance and confidence that ignites a cheerful heart. Those who love Jesus and know Jesus and live for Jesus will have joy in life. When asked about their faith, only 3% of Americans mentioned enjoyment of their relationship with God as their greatest source of spiritual fulfillment.
John G. Mitchell wrote, “The enjoyment of spiritual life can come only as we walk in fellowship with God. A Spirit filled life is the enjoyment of divine life; it is that life of fellowship. There is no higher experience for a believer, either on earth or in heaven, than the experience of personal, intimate fellowship with the living, sovereign, eternal God.”
Warren Wiersbe said, “Joy is not something that we manufacture for ourselves; joy is a wonderful by-product of our fellowship with God.”
Lehman Strauss said, “There can be no real joy until the partnership with God and His Son and His children has been established. When our fellowship is what it ought to be, the attainment of the fullness of joy will result.”
Charles Simeon said, “There are but two lessons for the Christian to learn: the one is, to enjoy God in everything; the other is, to enjoy everything in God.” Somewhere along the way we have missed it. We equate joy with happiness and happiness with joy. When you are happy you do have joy, no doubt, but you can have joy and still not be happy. We cannot be happy about our circumstances from without and still be filled with joy from within. People that are suffering persecution, illness, sickness, loss of a loved one can still have the joy of the Lord. It is during these times that people may not be outwardly happy, but Jesus can give them inward joy.
Dr. R.A. Torrey and his wife went through a time of great heartache when their 12 year old daughter was accidentally killed. The funeral was held on a gloomy, miserable, rainy day. They stood around the grave and watched as the body of their little girl was put away. As they turned away, Mrs. Torrey said, ‘I’m so glad that Elizabeth is with the Lord and not in that box.’ But, even knowing this to be true, their hearts were broken. Dr. Torrey said that the next day, as he was walking down the street, the whole thing broke anew—the loneliness of the years ahead without her presence, the heartbreak of an empty house, and all the other implications of her death. He was so burdened by this that he looked to the Lord for help. He said, ‘And just then, this fountain, the Holy Spirit that I had in my heart, broke forth with such power as I think I had never experienced before, and it was the most joyful moment I had ever known in my life! Oh, how wonderful is the joy of the Holy Ghost! It is an unspeakable glorious thing to have your joy not in things about you, not even in your most dearly loved friends, but to have you a fountain ever springing up, springing up, springing up, always springing up 365 days in every year, springing up under all circumstances unto everlasting life.”
A little girl remarked about her principle that she believed he went to Heaven every night because he was so happy every day. The principle was told of this and he used a great metaphor about a Christian’s joy. He said, ‘Joy is the flag which is flown from the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there.”
Jesus came that we may have that kind of joy. He wants our joy to be full, complete, not lacking in any way. The joy of the Lord is our strength. He is our source of joy, knowing Him and living for Him gives great joy to the heart. Jesus Christ is our source of joy and gives it abundantly to us.
1. Joy comes from God’s protection and trusting in Him.
Psalm 5:11, “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.”
2. Joy comes from the presence of the Lord in our lives.
Psalm 16:11, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
3. Joy comes from God’s salvation.
Isaiah 12:3, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”
4. Joy comes from the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…”
5. Joy comes from knowing that your name is written in Heaven.
Luke 10:20, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
6. Joy comes from the Word of God.
John 15:11, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
7. Joy comes from answered prayers.
John 16:24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
Questions to Consider:
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I thank You for the Bible. Your Word helps me glorify You as I experience true joy and close fellowship with You. Help me to remove anything in my life that would hinder fellowship with You. Help me to never settle for occasional or distant fellowship, but a closer walk with You in obedience. May I make and spend time daily with You in Your Word and in prayer.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.