Discover the Joy of the World

“This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.”
1 John 1:2-4 NLT
Joy is something that is always welcome, but rarely sought out. It’s sometimes seen as an elusive and passive feeling. It isn’t something that we achieve when we say to ourselves, “I’m going to find some joy today.” Yet it sounds natural to actively search for hope, love, or peace. These others are things that we can search for, but joy seems to be something that comes as a result. That’s why joy is such an oddball in our new sermon series: Discovering the Light of the World.

The Bible tells us that joy is only made complete through Jesus. Although we may find joy in our families or in helping others, it is incomplete. It’s tough to think that the great joy you felt when you first met your son or daughter and saw their first smile or laugh wasn’t complete. I don’t think that John here is saying that. John is saying that the joy is complete because the long-awaited messiah and savior, Jesus Christ, is finally here! There’s no more death! Death has been defeated! We can finally fully rejoice knowing that Jesus did all the work to ensure everlasting life!

That’s why complete joy is found in Jesus Christ. The darkness is gone, and the light of the world is here. That’s why we can find joy amidst the most sorrowful moments in our lives. We have hope in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Complete joy emerges in the meeting of hope and faith. When we hope for something better and have faith that something better is only found in Jesus, then we can have complete joy. We can live helping others knowing that it glorifies Jesus. We can be good fathers and mothers knowing that it glorifies our Lord. We can be who God created us to be knowing that he is for us, not against us. This joy is what makes life enjoyable. It’s our duty as Christians to share that light with others so that all may come to know complete joy. Amen.

Mark Schlasner