1 John 1:4
And these things write we to you, that your joy may be full.
I. WHAT WE MEAN BY IT. Not comfortable circumstances. If we did the counsel would hardly suit anybody for long. Nor Stoicism. Some people are almost irritated by any reference to joy or even peace. To "rejoice evermore" is a precept which comes to us not as an addition to our suffering, but as an anodyne to enable us to bear it. For whatever is taken away we may "joy in God," and therefore our resources are never exhausted.
II. WHAT WE GAIN BY IT. Souls immortal and capable themselves of these feelings of joy. The world is like Leander in the old Greek story, swimming for bare life across from Sestos to Abydos by night, his only attraction being the love of Hero, his only means of assuring himself that he was in the right course being her torch. While that lamp was throwing its light upon the Hellespont he knew that his beloved was there, and the hope and certainty of welcome bore him through the waves. There is many "a strong swimmer in his agony" buffeting the billows of this world's temptations who looks to you for light. He wants not only the love, but the lamp, remember. Not only your compassion, but your joy. Let it burn bright and clear, and many a poor soul may find grace and courage to swim on. Fulness of joy will not only help you to win other souls, it will help you as to your own. "In your patience possess ye your souls," said the Master. We cease to possess them when we become impatient. That patience, and its twin sister peace and their daughter joy, are essential to our obedience to Christ. And besides the souls of others and your own, the soul of Christ will be gladdened by your gladness. "He meeteth him that rejoiceth."
III. HOW WE COME BY IT. When we see Jesus and know that He hath loved us, when we see that through Him we are treading a pathway of promise, then the common stones of life's causeway become changed into chalcedony and jacinth and emerald, and the gates through which we go in and out are transmuted into pearls.
(J. B. Figgis, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.