Solid Joy

joyThe angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 1:10-11

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to feel good about life and happy with our circumstances all the time? I find that I can keep it up for a few hours until that difficult person crosses my path or a bill comes in the mail.

Then the pleasant feeling shatters. It’s gone. And if I manage to gain it back, the positive outlook returns only after a strenuous effort to talk myself into being happy again.

If you can relate, then perhaps like me, you need to discover a way to live with a sense of joy–one that is deeper than the emotion of happiness and stronger than the unexpected trials that come our way.

This kind of joy flows from God himself. Like true peace, joy can’t be produced in our own hearts. It must come from God’s Holy Spirit. This is why joy is counted among the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5. It is a gift, something God alone gives to us.

This is the very essence of Christmas. God is granting us something we can’t gain for ourselves. He gives favor to people who have done nothing to deserve it. This favor comes in the bundle of a newborn baby destined to be the Savior of the world. The whole plan found its design in the mind of a heavenly father. A father who loves us very much.

It was enough to make a whole angel army break out in song. Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace among those whom he favors.

Joy. The condition of a heart that understands what God has done for it.

Joy. It comes from God himself and defines our life as his children.

Joy. Deeper than pain. Longer-lasting than any level of happiness. It flows on and on carrying us, strengthening us, until the day we enter into heaven for ourselves and begin to experience the reality of eternity.

When full of this joy, no problem can keep us down. Relationships gain perspective. The miseries of the world come under God’s sovereign authority. And all because we have a Savior who entered the world at Christmas.

“Don’t be afraid,” the angel said. “For see, I bring you good news of great joy for all the people.”

The angel’s message is for you. For me. For everyone who has fallen short of God’s glory.

“Today.” Now. This very minute, the Lord is breaking into our lives. “In the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is the Messiah, the Lord.”

In the words of the prophet Isaiah, joy goes on forever, unbroken and unrestrained. “Those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (Isaiah 51:11).

He’s talking about us who believe in Jesus’ birth, his death, and his resurrection. Everlasting joy will crown your head. Joy will overtake you. Sorrow and sighing will flee away. What a wonderful gift to receive for Christmas.

 

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