Joy | Advent 2020
“Joy to the world; the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
And heav’n and nature sing.”1
Joy. Children display an infectious, pure joy at Christmas. Remembering the best and brightest moments of past Christmases can make us feel like children again. Everything about what Christmas means offers joy.
Are you having difficulty finding joy in this season filled with stress, loss, transition, or grief? Press in closer to the One who came to earth to suffer with us and yet to save us. Worship Him. Worship opens the portal of our hearts to experience the nearness and presence of Jesus and brings us joy.
God does not expect us to deny hard times or challenging situations. He isn’t disappointed by our sorrow or struggle. He journeys with us through all the storms and pain we experience. And in the middle of it all, He offers us a way to step into joy even in the difficulties.
Joy is something to fight for, something to choose to receive. Joy and woe are finely interwoven, and we must deliberately latch hold of joy when it is tied to sorrow. We will rejoice in God our Savior, even when we know our souls will be pierced. We rejoice despite sorrow, not because we are immune to suffering but because we rejoice by faith.
God provides a pathway to joy through the revelation that He is greater than anything we face. He is Immanuel, God with us, no matter the season or circumstances. Our hearts are changed by the impact of the truth that He loves us so infinitely He chose to be born so He could die for us. He chose to die that we might live!
Though our current times are laced with grief and pain, the truth of Christmas still offers joy to all believers. Joy resides in the truth that He came to us as a baby, lived among us, died an eternally purposeful death, and was raised to life again so we might have life forever with Him.
The angel declared on the first Christmas in Bethlehem that Jesus’ birth was good news of great joy, for all people. Over two thousand Christmases later, we celebrate His birth as good news and great joy. May we testify this Christmas to a troubled, fearful world that He is still the good news who offers great joy.
1 Dick Brogden, Live Dead Joy, (Springfield, MO: My Healthy Church, 2014), 206.