Do these familiar lyrics resonate with you?
“Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King, Let every heart Prepare Him room. Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, oh Israel.
Good Christian men, rejoice! With heart and soul, and voice! Give ye heed to what we say, Jesus Christ is born today!”
As early as November, the airwaves and shopping havens serenade us with these timeless tunes, ushering in the holiday spirit. While a myriad of songs accompanies this festive time, my favorites share a common theme: joy.
The twinkling lights, comforting melodies, and delectable treats indeed contribute to the seasonal joy. Yet, amidst these pleasures, the lyrics remind me that the true source of my profound joy lies in the birth of Jesus. As we transition past the grand celebration on December 25th, the question lingers: should my joy wane now that the festivities have concluded? I ardently hope not. So, how does one sustain the profound joy that Jesus brought to the world? Let’s delve into Scripture together.
Joy in His Presence
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” – Psalm 16:11
Initiating a relationship with Jesus fills us with great joy, and this joy deepens as we invest time nurturing that connection. Psalm 16 reveals that joy emanates from His presence. To experience this joy, I must intentionally rest in His presence. Examples of such rest include:
- Emulating Jesus’ practice of finding a solitary place to commune with the Father (Luke 5:16).
- Surrendering my burdens to Him (Matthew 11:28-30).
- Approaching Him with gratitude and prayer (Philippians 4:6-7).
The joy of His presence blossoms as we actively seek Him and find solace in His perfect peace. He eagerly awaits intimate moments with each of us. Have you recently basked in the joy of His presence?
Joy in Trials
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” – James 1:2-3
For many, the Christmas season is a time of making family memories and celebrating with friends. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. There can be much sadness around the struggles of the world during what should be a joyful time. James reminds us that despite this temporary pain, there should be joy because our tested faith produces patience that only comes through trial.
If you find yourself in the middle of a trial, take heart. The joy of Jesus’ birth remains as He brought hope to the world. Now that He is with the Father, His Holy Spirit brings patience and wisdom in life’s difficulties.
Joy in His Guidance
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” – John 15:11
Jesus’ earthly ministry means wonderful things for those of us who are His followers. Not only did He live a perfect life as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, but His perfect life remains an example for us. In John, Jesus gives beautiful examples for His followers, both in that present time and today, to understand how to remain in His love. Verse eleven specifically tells us why this is so important: that our joy may be complete.
How wonderful is our God that He would have such a sweet plan for our joy? It’s a reminder that He cares so deeply for us. Would you say your joy is complete in Jesus this season? If not, I challenge you to spend time with Him, resting in His word and listening to His Spirit, so that you may also influence those around you with joy.