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May 11, 2022 · Bob Gass

Unconditional joy 

“Our relationship is with…Jesus…so that we can be completely filled with joy.” 1 John 1:3-4 GWT 

When joy is absent from your life, power is also missing (see Nehemiah 8:10). Our happiness shouldn’t be based on what’s happening around us; it should be dependent on our relationship with Jesus. John said, “We can be completely filled with joy” (1 John 1:4 GWT). Pastor Reimar Schultze noted, “John did not say this when all was well, but when…everything had turned to shambles. (1) All his fellow apostles had been murdered. (2) Rome had destroyed the temple [so]…not one stone was left upon another. Flavius Josephus, an eyewitness, wrote, ‘The multitude of those that…perished exceeded all the destructions men or God ever brought upon the world.’ (3) Many Jews and Christians became refugees. Average life expectancy was about forty years and 25 percent of the people in Rome were slaves. (4) John himself lived as a condemned criminal on the Isle of Patmos. He had no earthly comforts…no assurance of living another day. When the cup of misery was full, God commissioned [him] to show the world the absolute power and triumph of Christianity over everything…[John’s] writings, in reference to our daily walk, put a capstone on all that heaven intended to reveal in the Word—if we have apostolic fellowship, our joy will be full. You do not need pleasant circumstances for this to happen.” The psalmist said it best: “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore’” (Psalm 16:11 NKJV).

Bible in a year: 2 Samuel 12-13 and John 19:1-22

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