When we come to Christ, a joy we have never known fills us. We want nothing but more of Him. Over time, that joy may wane. Following Jesus is not an emotional journey, it is a journey of truth. The emotions we experience from knowing Christ are exhilarating, but in the end, it is not the emotion we seek. We seek only Jesus. Still, the emotional highs propel us in His Name to do work for His Kingdom.
So, how do we continue to find joy when the struggles and trials of day-to-day living weigh us down? How do we find complete joy in a world intent on crushing us? The Bible shows us the way, and it is not about manufacturing emotion or attending events designed to elicit an emotional response from us. No, the way to reignite our joy is by sharing it with someone else (1 John 1:4).
John opens his first epistle (letter) to the Church by recounting His experience with Christ. He knew Christ personally and was in Jesus’s inner circle. It is likely John was the last living person to have known Jesus the man at the time he wrote his letter. John had walked side by side with Jesus, witnessed his crucifixion, and ate with Him following His resurrection. As John points out, he had seen, heard, and touched Christ. John knew Jesus in a way we never will until the Lord greets us in Heaven. If anyone could have a source of complete joy on earth, it would have been John. Yes, he had faced many tribulations, beatings, and imprisonment because of Christ, but he also had known him personally. He was the disciple “whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; John 19:26-27).
Even after all these experiences, John’s joy was not complete. After walking with Jesus throughout the Lord’s ministry on earth, after witnessing all the miracles and seeing Christ raised from the grave, John’s joy was not complete. His joy was not complete until he was sharing what he knew (John 1:4). After recounting all the things that brought him joy — knowing Christ and fellowshipping with like-minded believers (1 John 1:1-3)–it was telling others about Jesus that made John’s joy complete. Sharing Christ rekindled the joy and passion of following Jesus within John’s heart. Obeying Christ’s great commission to go into all the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) lit the fire in John that allowed him to continue the fight even as an old man.
We have not yet had the privilege of seeing and knowing Jesus in His human form, but one day, we will. Until then, it is our mission to tell others about Him. We cannot do this in isolation. While prayer and study of God’s Word are vital to our strengthening and growth, we must take the gospel and share it with others. If we do not, our joy will wane. It is obeying Christ’s command to tell others about Him that rekindles our joy. Joy comes from sharing Jesus with someone who needs hope and salvation. It may seem scary to share your faith, but you cannot understand the peace and complete joy you will know from it until after you have done it. Nothing on earth compares to the feeling of sharing your faith.
If you feel weak and are lacking the joy you once knew, share the gospel with someone. It is a sign of obedience and a source of joy. Sharing the gospel is the Bible’s prescription for completing your joy. Making disciples is hard work, but it is also the most satisfying work you will ever do. Complete joy comes from complete obedience. Don’t let fear hold you back, for there is no fear in perfect love (1 John 4:18). Cast aside the fear and share the love God has lavishly poured out on you (Titus 3:4-7). Tell someone about Jesus and your joy will be renewed.