“Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it... The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” John 1:1-5,9
“But the fruit of the Spirit is… joy.“ Galatians 5:22
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! The long-expected Savior came as promised, our Prophet, Priest, and King. He came to live and die and be resurrected and glorified for our salvation. He has come as Victor over sin, death, fear, and despair. He is here, Emmanuel, in us, with us, for us. Joy! Jesus On You! Joy of joys! Jesus Over Your Scares and Sorrows!
Jesus came to bring light and life and salvation to a weary world. He broke into darkness, broke chains of enslavement to sin and condemnation, then broke open the grave to rise victorious over all. Our greatest gifts came by way of the greatest, indescribable Gift, Jesus, joy to the world. What He has done once for all to secure eternity with Him He does personally for us in our present darkness. (2 Corinthians 9:15; Hebrews 9:24-28)
Let us receive our King, into our everyday and everything: our thinking and dreaming, our longing and loving, our talking and working and serving and giving. He has come and comes to our times of communion with Him to nourish, minister, guide. He comes in answer to our repentance to forgive, cleanse, restore. He comes into our minds to renew and teach and steer in His will. He comes into our wills to shape and purify, our work to energize and make fruitful. He comes into relationships to redeem, edify, unify, solidify. (Zephaniah 3:9,17,19-20; John 16:8,13-14; Romans 12:2; Philippians 2:5)
Are we choosing joy in every aspect and circumstance? When dreams fall flat, will we rejoice in His ongoing sovereignty? When pain persists, will we rejoice in the great Healer and Giver of peace? When exhaustion depletes, will we rejoice in the One whose Spirit is our power? He is nigh and actively present, and fills us to overflow when we decide to take our joy in Him. (Zechariah 4:6; John 14:27; Philippians 4:4-7)
“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.” ~Isaac Watts (1719)
O Lord, You are and have brought the greatest joy to the world! Fill my countenance and mouth with songs of joy that exalt Your glorious name!