“I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be to all the people….” (Luke 2)
God is a God of great joy.
There is great joy in God’s presence. (Psalm 16:11)
That joy has a name: Jesus Christ.
Wherever Jesus Christ is honored, joy is the dominant element in the atmosphere. (Acts 8:8 and 15:3)
When Jesus Christ enters a life, that person is filled with joy.
Joy is the flag flown from the castle of your heart to show the King is in residence.
Joy is something other than happiness, for that quality depends on happenings. The joy of the Lord is of a higher quality and superior to all others.
The joy of the Lord is the strength of His people. (Nehemiah 8:10)
The one in possession of this kind of joy does not need the lesser kinds, the so-called joy derived from bank accounts and flattering comments and pretty clothes and rich food and artificial stimulants.
The one who is in the grip of Heaven’s joy may endure the harshest experiences this life can dish out and still rejoice in the Lord. (James 1:2)
The one who knows Christ will find himself rejoicing in the most surprising circumstances (Acts 5:41).
No one can take His joy from us. (John 16:22)
Our joys are partial and temporary; His is full and lacking nothing (John 17:13). Ours tickles our fancy for a time; His touches us on the deepest level and leaves us forever dissatisfied with anything less.
Our own rebellions and neglect, however, can diminish the joy to the point that we are no longer aware of it. Sin is our enemy for so many reasons. (Isaiah 59:2)
When the sinning believer returns to the Lord in repentance and surrender, the joy of the Lord and of His salvation is restored. (Psalm 51:12)
When we pray for His will in our lives, the unexpected gift from Heaven is joy. (John 16:24)
Joy is always a choice. “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). “Rejoice…because your names are written in Heaven” (Luke 10:20).
“I doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever…exchange it for all the pleasures in the world.” –C. S. Lewis in “Surprised by Joy”
The angel who appeared to the shepherds that night outside Bethlehem was not just bringing joy, but “news of great joy which shall be to all the people.” Joy was the by-product, the accompaniment if you will, of the coming of the Savior.
It has been that way ever since.
How’s your joy?