Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. —1 John 4:17, KJV
How could anyone have boldness on the day of judgment? I myself would be reluctant to claim I will feel that way on the day of judgment. The thought of it, if I am honest, does not give me boldness, but soberness. Perhaps I will be given grace at that time. I certainly hope so, because the thought of that day is so terrifying that one cannot imagine having boldness. On the other hand, John said that the Lord's commands are not "burdensome" (1 John 5:3). I take that to mean that when we think God will throw the book at us, instead He will look down on us with tenderness and make us feel accepted because He knows our frame and remembers that we are dust (Ps. 103:14). Maybe more of us will have boldness on that day than we may think.
John says boldness is possible because of perfect love that casts out fear. If we live in perfect love, or total forgiveness, there is no fear, and the result is that we do not need to be afraid when Jesus comes and is sitting on His throne.
I know one thing. If the Lord were to say to someone "Well done," that must be the ultimate in joy. It would be a joy greater than we can conceive. Unimaginable bliss. Relief. Wow! Whatever can be greater? I can tell you: nothing. It is the highest level of joy that ever was.
O Lord, may it happen to all my readers and to me—on that Day.
Excerpted from Pure Joy (Charisma House, 2006).