How joyful are you feeling right now? Yes, joyful. Are you rejoicing in everything about the Christmas season?
No? Not so happy about the COVID-19 restrictions, 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.
Some say the rational, intelligent thing to do is to face reality. Put aside the manufactured holiday happiness sold in the big box stores. Instead, realize 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 a permanent grin plastered on our faces labels 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 confidently trusting God’s sovereignty and understanding He is in control, despite appearances.
We don’t find joy in our circumstances; we find it 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. And the long lines, the traffic, the organized chaos that typifies the month of December, even the COVID restrictions—none of that can diminish my joy in knowing Christmas is not a holiday, it’s a birthday. 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 in Jesus Christ this Christmas season?