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Read Introduction to 1 John


“And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”
John rounds off his prologue to 1 John with a personal touch – he wants their joy to be complete in knowing the basis of their fellowship (1:1-3).
And these things we write to you
John explicitly writes in the name of several apostles (“we”) for the purpose that their readers will experience full joy
that your joy may be full
God binds our joy tightly to fellowship with fellow believers and with God.  Joy is a by-product of fellowship with God.  The nature of our joy is in knowing our relationship to God.  The nature of our joy then is in God Himself. 
Acts 13:52, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
Jn 15:11, These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Jn 16:24, Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
The Greek tense of “may be full” emphasizes the state of completion.  John’s purpose in writing is that his readers would have continuing results of the completed state of joy in their lives. 
The nature of the believer’s joy is in God Himself.
No non-Christian can have spiritual joy.  They may have pleasure or even happiness but no joy.  The Holy Spirit can fill the believer with “all joy.” 
Ro 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
We obtain joy by drawing on the promises of God (Je 15:16). 
We find biblical joy in fellowship with God.  God desires that each of His children have complete joy.  You may say, “No, I’m hurting too much.  I’m trouble and distressed because of my frailty.” 
There is a difference between happiness and joy.  Happiness depends on what happens; that is, it depends on circumstances.  If our circumstances are good, then we are happy.  However, if our circumstances are poor, then we are unhappy.  However, joy is independent of circumstances.  Circumstances cannot affect our relationship with God. 
All of us have people in our lives that we like being with.  We enjoy their presence.  If we can enjoy the people around us, why can we not enjoy the presence of God?  If we will enjoy fellowship with God in eternity, why not enjoy His fellowship in time? 
You may insist, “That’s just the way I am.  If I want to feel sad, don’t mess with me.  That is my business.”  The false assumption in those phrases is that we belong to ourselves.  We are God’s possession.  We have no right to limit God’s blessings in our lives.  We have no right to displace God’s joy for a scheme of our own making.