1 John 1:1-4
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
"...For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us..." - For the definition of "life" in each instance, you really have to look at the context, because thus far, almost every time, if not every time, "life" has referred to Christ Himself. The Word, Jesus Christ, is life because He gives it to all who believe on Him. Jesus lived a physical life and died a physical death, and (obviously) He has lived and will live for all eternity. He had to die to pay the penalty for our sins, but He did not die spiritually or eternally. God required the shedding of perfect blood to cover the sins of His people, and Christ fulfilled that requirement. The price has already been paid. Because He was our substitute, He can now offer this gift of eternal life to all people. Because it was God who offered Himself for His people, that blood payment is so large that it can easily cover the stains of all people. Though, sadly, so many reject this offer and therefore must pay for their own sins, seeing that Jesus is our only other option. John 14:6 says that "I (Jesus) am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh to the Father except through me." In order that this purpose might be fulfilled, Jesus (the life) was manifested. This means that He was made clear/shown to the world/revealed to the world as the Son of God, Savior of those who believe in Him. John states again that they (the disciples) saw Him; therefore they now bear witness and testify that Jesus was/is the Son of God, the Life.
"...That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you..." - John makes it clear that he and the other disciples witnessed Jesus Christ first hand. Second or third hand witnesses are harder to trust because the story may have gotten messed up in the multiple re-tellings; but when you hear a story told from one who was actually there, and the person is trustworthy, you should easily and rightly believe them. The gospels and really, the whole New Testament , are written about Jesus by direct witnesses; the book of First John is no exception, this book was written by an eyewitness of His majesty.
"...That ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ..." - When you share knowledge with someone, you are then able to talk with them about it. For how can one talk with another if one is not familiar with the subject at hand? When one becomes a believer, they enter into the family of God and can therefore truly fellowship with their new adopted brethren. Fellowship is spending quality time with someone or multiple people. Fellowship with the Father can only be obtained after one becomes a believer for before one receives Jesus Christ, they are utterly separated from God, but because of Christ and His work, we have been brought near and may fellowship with God because we have been covered by the blood of the Lamb. Fellowship with God implies fellowship with both the Father and the Son; and the Holy Spirit is constantly with us, helping, guiding, comforting, and leading us where God wants us to go.
"...And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full..." - This is the second reason why John wrote this letter; the first was: "that ye also may have fellowship with" God and all believers. The word "joy" implies a lot if you think about it, for you can take/have joy in many things. Joy, as I understand it, is more than happiness - for even happiness can be easily faked by some. Joy is like a true, or pure, or utterly real, happiness. In the book of James we are told to joy in tribulation. We can only do this when we draw our joy from Christ; who, we know, works all things together for good for His people. We may not always feel an earthly happiness about trials, but we can have honest joy in it if we are relying on Christ. In this certain passage, however, John is not writing of joy in tribulation, but rather, joy in the knowledge of what Christ did. Same kind of joy, drawn from the same place. I think it interesting that John doesn't just say "that you may have joy", but he says: "that your joy may be FULL" (emphasis mine). I believe the implication of that is clear: John knows that the love of Christ doesn't just bring joy, but that is is so vast that it overflows ones heart with an immeasurable amount of unspeakably huge joy. The joy that Christ brings fills you up to absolutely overflowing! More than enough to fill your life and more share with the world! Allow Christ to fill you with His joy daily so that all may see Christ through you as you bubble over with His great, priceless joy!
I must admit that this exact thing is something I am working on right now. Finding joy in not only daily tasks and work and life in general, but also in trials. I pray that God may teach me how to find joy in Him!
Oh praise God for blessing us so richly!
In Christ our Rock,