How joyful are you feeling right now? Yes, joyful. Are you rejoicing this Christmas season?
No? Not so happy about the long lines in the stores, the extra traffic on the road, the additional expenses resulting in more month left at the end of the money? But it’s Christmas! Joy to the world. God rest ye merry, gentlemen. Tidings of comfort and joy. Or not.
Some say the rational, intelligent thing to do is to face reality, put aside the manufactured holiday happiness sold in the big box stores, and realize that our messy world is reason enough to wipe the grins off our faces.
The world is a mess. We can’t purchase happiness in the gift aisle of Walmart. And walking around with permanent grins plastered on our faces will label us naïve and oblivious to reality.
But joy is not the same as happiness. Joy is not dependent on the calendar or the number of gifts under the tree or the state of current events. Joy is the fruit of a life that confidently trusts God’s sovereignty and understands that He is in control, despite appearances.
Joy is not found in circumstances, it is found in God Himself. He is our joy and our delight (Psalm 43:3-4). Joy springs from the knowledge that God has provided for our greatest need – the need to be restored to Him.
When the angel proclaimed Jesus’ birth to the shepherds, he introduced his news by saying, “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10). This good news was the announcement of the birth of the Savior – the Messiah – who would save us from our sins.
I love everything about the Christmas season. Even the long lines, the traffic, and the organized chaos that typifies the month of December cannot diminish my joy in knowing that Christmas is not a holiday. It’s a birthday – the birthday of my Savior. Happiness is found in happenings, but joy is found in Jesus. No one can take Him – or my joy – away from me.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
How can you reflect the joy of your salvation this Christmas season?