I remember when each of my children were born. Each day was a high mark in my life. As I held each child, my mind dreamed of plans for them. I tried to imagine what they would become and what type of future God had prepared for them.
In a similar fashion, God has birthed us into his family and with that has given us gifts, abilities and a path for our lives. Although each of us are different and have a different course set before us, we do have a common plan set by God. One aspect of that plan is for us to have joy in our lives. As we live in this fallen world, it may seem difficult to experience joy, but nonetheless God has ordained it.
And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:4)
The contents of John’s first epistle is intended to bring us to the point of experiencing the fullness of God’s joy. Experiencing the fullness of God’s joy is not a matter of how to obtain it, but more so how to overcome obstacles that keep us from having it. For you and me to have joy has been set forth by God. However there are situations that may rob people from experiencing it.
The first is light versus darkness. God is light and in him is no darkness. For us to experience joy, we must live in the light. People who live in the light are those who have experienced salvation and the new birth that is associated with it.
Ye are children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (1 Thessalonians 5:5)
God clearly marks the obstacle that robs his creation from experiencing joy and that is salvation. He contrasts light and darkness: the recognition of our sinfulness and need of salvation contrasted with self righteousness or sinlessness. (1 John 1:8)
We do not get joy by being sinless. We get joy by recognizing our sin and calling out to a savior. We must not get confused and think that it is a matter of staying in the light. It is not staying in the light, but being in the light. Those in the light are cleansed from sin–hence they sinned while in the light. (1 John 1:7)
God plans for you and me to have joy. Hopefully, you have recognized your need for salvation and have experienced his Holy Spirit transformation from darkness to light.