The Light that Brings Joy!

1 John 1:4-7
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
What is the difference between happiness and joy? Many think that they are one and the same, and they are not. Happiness is dependent on outward circumstances. Happiness “happens” to us, and it can leave just as quickly. Joy, on the other hand, comes from within and finds it’s source in God! It is resting in the strength and grace of Christ even when life gets hard. We find joy when we Know God! A.W. Tozer said this, “What I am anxious to see in Christian believers is a beautiful paradox. I want to see in them the joy of finding God while at the same time they are blessedly pursuing Him. I want to see in them the great joy of having God yet always wanting Him!” One thing that Joy and Happiness actually has in common is that once you experience either one – you will always desire it!
So what is the message that John gives us that will lead us to experience this Joy? That God is Light! That may be confusing to you at first, but lets unpack that thought. Why should this bring us joy? It is because the world we live in is full of darkness. Violence, turmoil, suicide, hate and confusion are all descriptions of daily life here on planet earth. People are despairing, depression is common, and folks are looking for relief through drugs and alcohol. The bars are filling up because people just want to numb the pain. The world is dark. Darkness brings hopelessness, fearfulness, confusion and despair. In contrast, Light brings hope, light gives direction, light brings joy! And God is Light! 
As Christians it is our duty to shine that light for all to see! To walk in His light and show others the difference it has made in our lives as God forgives us, as God loves us, as God gives us life, as God gives us joy. John 1:4 says that, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men”. John tells us that His light guides us to Him. And we are to be reflections of His light as we live in the Joy of the Lord and proclaim the Grace of God! And the more we Know Him, the more Joy that we have. And the more Joy that we receive, the more we want Him! It is a cycle that continues in our lives as we walk with Christ and experience who He is!
Today as we ReFocus our hearts and minds on Christ let us find our joy in finding God which will lead us to pursue Him more, which will lead us to more Joy…and the cycle continues. He is the Light that brings Hope and Joy and we are to be the reflection of His light as we shine His love and grace into the darkness around us!