What does it really mean to have JOY in our life? The Christmas season and our many man-made traditions have given us different meanings of joy. It may be in the form of receiving gifts or seeing our loved ones in an annual reunion. But perhaps, we need to be reminded of the great joy we already obtained when Christ came to save us thousands of years ago. In fact, His advent isn’t just to be received with great joy, but that which needs to be recognized as the greatest source of our joy both on this earth and in eternity.
Why does joy matter
Joy matters because as we are waiting for Christ’s second coming, we will suffer despair, distress, and pain. The joy that He brings can lighten even the darkest moments of our life by giving us the strength that we need to press on. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! Nehemiah 8:10
Joy matters because it is essential to our life as Christians. The Bible does not complicate when it tells us to rejoice. (Philippians 4:4) The Scripture is also relentless in commanding us to be joyful because of God’s goodness. Our rejoicing echoes the never-ending goodness of the Father. It is also the rightful response as recipients of His loving mercy and grace.
Moses could not be clearer when he told the Israelites to go and celebrate because of all the good things the Lord your God has given to you. (Deuteronomy 26:11) Let’s respond to this call as well as the receivers of God’s goodness in these times of overwhelming sufferings and pains.
Profound joy only found in Christ
The joy found in Jesus goes beyond great depths. He doesn’t just give us the joy to overcome our fears, pains, and griefs, but He also offers us the kind of joy that trumps even our sinful nature which condemns us to be separated from Him. An angel of Lord assured us all of peace and joy in Luke 2:10, “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
These words from the book of Luke affirm that Jesus is the Joy Incarnate. Though he was despised, rejected, and acquainted with deepest grief, He suffered all these so we could be whole; so we could receive the most glorious joy from God. (Isaiah 53:3-6)
The greatest joy we have in Jesus is profound enough to be all-sustaining and everlasting. It gives us cheer when we grieve; it comforts us when we’re suffering; it strengthens us when we’re weak. But ultimately, it assures us of an everlasting delight in the loving arms of God to eternity. He made it clear to us when it was written in the book of John, “So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.” (John 16:22)
This season, as we unwrap our Christmas gifts, may we be reminded that we are not just to receive ordinary joy from ordinary pleasures. Christ came and gave us the greatest joy that cannot be compared to anything. What an amazing gift it is to be with Him forever.