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Joy Addict

By James Metsger | June 2nd, 2020

And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (1 John 1:4)

I’m addicted to joy, so it should come as no surprise that I pursue it at great cost. Just this last week, I can think of any number of decisions I made because I thought they would bring me joy. In no particular order: 

  • I ate an ice cream cone after lunch because I like the taste of ice cream even though ice cream doesn’t always like me. 
  • I ate an ice cream cone after dinner for the same reason I ate one after lunch. 
  • I stayed up late to watch a game knowing I’d be exhausted the next day. 
  • I played a round of golf with a friend instead of getting ahead on some work. 

I expected each decision to bring me a measure of joy. And they did! I loved the ice cream, I watched a great game, and I shot par on the 18th hole. I didn’t walk away from those events disappointed with my joy, but I did find I wanted more of it.

God doesn’t reject our pursuit of joy, but He does direct it. He shows us where joy is found. The Gospel of Luke records an event where an angel of the Lord says to the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Joy has come and His name is Jesus. 

When people think about Christianity, joy isn’t always the first word that comes to mind. Rules, maybe. A lot of “Thou shalt not . . . .” But not joy. John, though, thought the idea was important enough to write to churches, so they would experience it.  Can’t you hear the joy in John’s voice when he writes about his experiences with God in the flesh? Read 1 John 1:1-4 and see for yourself.  As if in disbelief, he repeats over again that he is testifying to what the disciples had seen and heard, touched with their hands, and looked upon with their own eyes. It sounds like he’s still pretty astounded that he had fellowship with Jesus. And his joy was made complete by sharing these experiences with the church, so that all believers could experience the same joy, not just in part, but more fully. 

And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Today may you experience the fullness of God’s joy for you in Christ.

Reflect: Where have you looked for joy? How successful were you in your pursuit?