We are in the season of joy. When we see loved ones, give to a charity, help someone in need, even with good food and drink we find joy. These are joyous occasions, no doubt, so celebrate but be careful to remember that without Jesus, the One whose birth brought forth the celebrating, there is no real joy. One definition of joy is:
The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. (Merriam Webster)
Joy is an emotion expressed in responses and reactions of people during the Christmas season. There is nothing bad or wrong about that, but there is a deeper joy that is available to everyone-the real joy of the season.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15
One day as I was driving, I noticed a woman pumping up Christmas inflatables in her yard. Even though, I love seeing them; in that moment the inflatables reminded me of the madness of the season. After Christmas, she will deflate them and pack them up. Could it be that we are temporarily pumped up and inflated with joy. Then after Christmas that joy is deflated and disappears until next year. This is the joy defined above. It is joy based on situation, experience or season. It sits on the surface of the heart and can be taken away. You may be like I was for years, content with that joy. Then I heard of the Real Joy.
"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us."
For every believer, the Real Joy is Jesus Christ, this is the season to reflect on the joy He gives us deep down in our heart. Christ did come and will come again. One of my favorite Christmas songs is Joy To The World; I love the lyrics because they speak about the truth and purpose of the season,
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing
The Lord has come! God has sent our King and every heart should prepare to receive Him. Everlasting joy fills the hearts of those who have faith and hope in Jesus Christ. Is your heart open, is there room. You want this joy that will carry you through life's toughest battles. It lasts more than a season, goes beyond your circumstances or situations. It is when you know that with Christ, you're alright and everything is going to be alright, that you have real joy!
Jesus says: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
As a new Christian, I was overjoyed. I had Christ and nothing could stop me. Then I was lead astray and into temptation by a Christian mentor. It opened my eyes to sin within the church. I was confused, angry and eventually feeling hopeless. Wondering who can you trust in this world. Misery wanted to steal my joy and lead me away from God. I prayed and prayed. I am sharing this for whoever is dealing with this today. You will find the truth in God's word. The scripture that guided me was James 4:7, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." I resisted and kept walking with God and the enemy fled, I was free once again. The joy of Lord truly became my strength back then and still is today. I rejoice during this season that I am blessed with the miraculous gift of His joy and knowing joy filled brothers and sisters in Christ. I am joy filled for life!
In this season we should always remember those who may be in misery. Misery is the opposite of joy. For anyone brokenhearted, hopeless, missing loved ones, feeling alone, lift up your head and know that people are praying for you and there is a Savior. Luke 2:11 tells us,
"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord."
On this Christmas day, the real celebration is that Christ's birth was the beginning of God's redemptive plan for us. Open your heart and allow Christ in and you will have His joy and be joy filled for life!