4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
Verse 4 is the final statement given by John in the opening paragraph of his letter. John speaks of the truth of his witness regarding who Jesus is. He extols the readers to remember that Jesus is the life that they are to seek and he points to the fellowship that is produced as a result of the unifying power of the Gospel.
In these short verses, John has pointed to the undeniable truth that the reason the foundation of our faith is firm and unmoving is because Jesus is the one who holding it all together. It can be easy to forget this. Jesus is the only one capable of sustaining the fragility of our lives and faith. He alone can see into our hearts and into our futures and decisively lead us into the next moment. But, why does any of this matter? John makes an amazing confession. He writes about these things so that “our joy may be complete.”
The second truth that we find here relates to the nature of the joy John says is available to us. John says that our joy may be complete or mature or full. When we come together around the truths of the Gospel we are closer to the kind of life God desires for all his children. Joy is not dependent on the circumstances of life. Many of us have heard this description/definition of joy. What makes this reality so wonderful is that it means that God’s steadfastness is the guarantee for my joy. In other words, that regardless of what happens in life we have the inward assurance that we are secure and safe in God’s arms.
Whenever we find our joy waning let us look to our connection with our local church. John wrote to the church to remind them that it is in community and in fellowship that our joy as God’s people is sustained. We each may have the joy of the Lord within us, but this inward presence is multiplied when we gather together to worship God and are immersed in the gospel of Jesus.