“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rest.”
I don’t know about you, but those words bring me joy! Inside of me my spirit jumps with Joy. The thought of God wanting to come and wanting to be a part of my life gives me joy. It gives me great hope and it give me a great future.
Those shepherds who heard and seen the amazing birth of our savior foretold and they responded and said let’s go see! Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
I want that kind of joy! I want, no I desire the joy of the Lord! This world is looking for happiness, but not many are looking for the joy of the Lord. Maybe we need to change that? Maybe we need to be a light unto their path and show them the joy they can only experience with being in a relationship with Jesus.
What is the joy of the Lord!
The joy of the Lord is the gladness of heart that comes from knowing God, abiding in Christ and being filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Repeat.
When Jesus was born, the angels announced a proclamation of Joy- “Good tidings of great joy” Jesus brings joy.
Even Mary’s cousin Elizabeth’s baby leaped for joy at the name of Jesus being born.
Being in the right relationship with God will cause us at the name of Jesus to begin praising God. It will bring peace on earth even if there is not peace on earth. I say it will cause you to get your praise on!
The Christmas season ought to bring Joy- it was not meant to be a time of sorrow. Becky’s dad died December 13th, 1997. We wondered if it would affect our Christmas and actually it was one of the best Christmases we had. People pulled together, helping each other through hurt and giving of each other to make the season joyful. Christmas is about Jesus! Not circumstances and not wither we have gifts to exchange. The wise men brought gifts- we bring ourselves to the savior and He expresses great joy in a life surrendered to him. Because of supernatural joy of the Lord, it cannot be stolen, it cannot be snatched away by circumstances. We have an inheritance that was given by our heavenly Father that will not perish or get broken, or get lost, or become outdated. It is the gift that keeps on giving.
Joy is part of the Spirit of God- Gal. 5:22-
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
If we have His Spirit, we have everything we need and it will bring a joy that is unspeakable and full of His glory.
The disciples of Jesus, years after His birth, years after walking with Him, found joy even in being arrested, beaten, bad mouthed and forsaken by many. They returned home the scriptures say “rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the name of Jesus.”
The joy of the Lord is a distinguishing mark of a believer- How do we find it even in the midst of trials and hurts? When we have circumstances that have tried to rob us of the joy of the Lord?
We do not let the devil steal anymore!
We come back to the fact that Jesus promises us joy and gladness of heart that comes from knowing Jesus and trusting Jesus.
We find joy with Christ abiding in us, and being filled with His Holy Spirit that will give us everything we need at the times we need it.
“Let’s go see this thing that has happened” is an invitation to the shepherds and to us that we must go and seek out the Christ child.
Even in a society that has no time for God and has no room in the Inn for Him. We must find time and make room for Him and as we seek Him we can be assured that we will find him and His joy will become our joy as we seek His face and for Him to dwell within us.
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Why? Because as you seek Him, His desires become your desires.
Let these scriptures sink deep into your spirit this morning-
“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
How do we find it? Joy, God’s precious joy?
First, understand that the joy the world gives is not the same as the joy the Spirit gives. Worldly joy or happiness comes and goes. It isn’t something you can cling to when you’ve lost a loved one, bankruptcy, loss of a job, health issues. The Spirit’s joy, on the other hand, can stay with you for the long journey. For the believer, the fruit of the Spirit, including joy, is like a bottomless resource—there’s always an abundant supply. Even when it is dark, when sadness or health issues come, grief, and life overwhelms you, God’s joy is there.
Second, understand that God’s joy cannot be taken away. Oh, you might think feel empty, but we do not go by feelings,—you may feel it has been snatched from you—but it’s not. As believers, we are promised the constant presence of the Holy Spirit. We are promised His joy. Just as our salvation is assured through Jesus’ one-time sacrifice for all. Jesus’ words in John 15:11, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Other examples, Acts 13:52, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 16:34, “The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.”
Third, we need to stop whining, and grab onto God’s joy. Just like salvation, joy is a free and perfect gift from Him, and we must reach out and accept that gift. Choose joy. Choose joy over bitterness, anger, and sorrow. Make a decision to choose joy every day. No matter what you are up against. Look to Scripture: “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability” (2 Corinthians 8:2-3). “You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). “Be joyful always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). “You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions” (Hebrews 10:34).
This morning my prayer is that Jesus restores Joy to your life, the way it is intended to be given and lived in a life of a believer.
If you need it this morning, grab it, hold unto it. If you are being blessed by our great God, share the joy of the Lord with those that are around you. Be a blessing by relationship with God and others He puts in our path.
The greatest joy of all is our salvation and relationship with Almighty God.
Everything else is temporary, wither it is good or bad, if it is here, it is temporary so we must keep our focus on Jesus.