Joy is a gift God gives and a choice you make; choose joy.
“I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all people.” Luke 2:10 NAS.
“Merry Christmas!” An all too familiar greeting, but “merry,” seems a bit underwhelming when referring to God coming into our world. I think “Joyous Christmas” is more like God would choose. Open your heart and home to be overwhelmed by, “an inexpressible and glorious joy,” this Advent. 1 Peter 1:8 NIV. The experience and expression of the Savior’s birth, life, and sacrifice deserve no less. The angel announced to the shepherds, “I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all people.” Luke 2:10 NAS. The good news is the same now as then and so is the promise of great joy.
However, Heaven’s joy did not originate on that first Christmas; the Incarnation simply dramatized the eternal purpose of the Father for all His creation to know inexpressible, glorious joy. Creation is described as the time when, “the morning stars sang together and all the Angels shouted for joy.” Job 38:7 NIV. That same eternal joy will fill your heart as you stand before God, “Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy . .” Jude 24-25 NKJV. Christmas’ celebration underscores the opportunity for experiencing His inexpressible joy every day.
“In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 NKJV. Great joy is yours but never automatic. Joy is a gift God gives and a choice you make; Advent invites you to choose joy. Nurture joy; mature joy until the emotion becomes a disposition drawing on abiding, spiritual resources. “If you abide in Me . . My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” John 15:7/11 NIV. You have His joy, completely!
Now, share the joy. If you are silent or unclear about your joy at Christmas, why would, or should, the world be drawn at other times to the truth you tell. Consider this. Christmas isn’t really Christmas until you share its joy with others. But a joy-filled message is not credible when coming from a joyless messenger. You can’t share something you don’t have, and you can’t keep something that you won’t share. That states a spiritual principle that also applies to inexpressible and glorious joy, “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV. When you give joy, you gain joy.
Share the joy of Christmas every day, to every person in every imaginable way. Celebrate with abandon and without apology. Invite, include, involve, converse, welcome, laugh, love, express life, and be real. Celebrate joyously; incarnate the joy of the timeless message an unbelieving world cannot resist. “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 NKJV.
This advent, my prayer for you is that you discover the enduring joy found in the Savior.