A phrase I’ve come across many times caught my eye this morning. I was reading through 1 John and 2 John and both times John uses the phrase “joy may be complete.’
“We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” 1 John 1:4
“Though I have many things to write to you, I don’t want to do so with paper and ink. Instead, I hope to be with you and talk face to face so that our joy may be complete.” 2 John 1:2
This phrase made me pause and think about the One Word I chose for 2016, communicate. If you missed that post, you can read it HERE.
Writing and talking face to face are forms of communication. And, according to these verses, John sees communication as an important step for this joy to be complete.
I decided to look at other instances this phrase is mentioned in Scripture.
John 17:13 “Now I am coming to You, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have My joy completed in them.” (I communicate with you so My joy will be accomplished.)
John 16:24 “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” (Communicate with Me for all your needs so that you can be filled with this joy.)
John 15:11“I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” (I have communicated with you so that My joy becomes your joy.)
John 3:29-30 “He who has the bride is the groom. But the groom’s friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the groom’s voice. So this joy of mine is complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.” (This joy becomes complete when Jesus takes center stage in our lives and we stand by His side…listening intently to every word He says.)
In all of these instances I see a common theme. One of the reasons Jesus desires to teach us and communicate with us is to facilitate our joy. In all of these instances, a communicating relationship is key. This joy can not come to fullness and completion without communication.
Then, as He becomes our joy and we begin to reflect that joy it should permeate every conversation and every interaction we have. It impacts and changes how we communicate with others.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2: 1-5)
I also thought about all the times in Scripture we read how His joy is our strength.
If we lack joy— communicate with Jesus.
If we lack strength–communicate with jesus.
He is the supplier of both. Communication is the key.