“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” (1 John 1:4) Have you ever wondered, why would the God of all reality be concerned with our joy, why would He desire us to be filled with the assurance, the everlasting knowledge of Himself.
God is incomprehensible to us because we are nothing like Him, we are told to be holy, for He is holy, (1 Peter 1:16) but even in our most precious moments of complete submission to His will, we can still find a part of us that wants to, well, retain a part of us. It is in these thought processes that many Christians err, they believe that to be Christlike means to love everyone, when it is quite clear in the Scriptures that Jesus did not show love to everyone He met. (John 8:24) They want to continuously take care of the downtrodden, when the Lord Himself one day said that the only reason some people were following Him was because they thought they were going to get a free meal again that day. (John 6:26) These are, in a sense the secondary responses of a born-again believer, the first is to glorify God in all we do.
There are many people who barely have enough to get through today that give more praise and honor to the Lord than many so-called Christians I have met, there are those who live in almost constant physical pain that rejoice in the Lord greater than some who run to the doctor’s office at the first sneeze. The joy of these individuals does not rest in their physical body, but in their soul, they know and rest in the calm assurance of His continuous presence, circumstances do not deter their faith.
In case you missed it, I will inform you of something, the same one who spoke the words of this opening letter to you is the same one who said, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11) The Holy Spirit spoke through David, God is the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is God, in His presence is the only place we can find the fullness of joy, it is not in any event that may occur in your life, it does not rest in your happiest thought, it is in the presence of the Lord.
We are given appetizers, if you will, of this joy, we are shown glimpses, such as Paul was, to a degree, when he was taken up to the third heaven and shown things that “it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Cor. 12:4) In the very best vernacular one can express, these far too rare moments can best be expressed by us as bliss, as complete and total confidence, and even as the happiest, most memorable moments we have ever experienced, they are, to put it mildly, where we want to remain forever, but it is not to be so, yet.
Any good employer knows that occasionally those employees of his that are profitable to his business need encouragement, we all do, and so to show his appreciation, he will give thanks, financial rewards, advancements in position with the company, but who are those employees that deserve these rewards? Those who not only apply themselves to their job only for the betterment and growth of the company, but those who seek nothing for themselves. They have agreed before they were hired on to receive a certain wage for their labors, and they perform as promised, seeking nothing more than what has been agreed on. These are the ones that get noticed, they do not complain, they do not bicker, they do not care what others receive for their labors, they do their job, and they do it to the best of their abilities.
We are not fully and completely yet in the presence of the Almighty, but we will be one day, for He has promised us this, until then, we are to perform as we have been commanded to, we have, in a sense, made an agreement with Jesus Christ, you save my soul from eternal death, and I will serve and love you with all that I am not only in this life, but for all eternity. Being in the presence of God Himself is icing on the cake my friends.