Even though Christmas has come and gone, we are still right in the middle of what can often be a very hectic holiday season. From Thanksgiving to New Years there are parties, shopping, deadlines, cooking, cleaning, traveling, etc. What should be the most wonderful time of the year is often not. On Christmas Eve we closed out the series on Christmas Joy, but I pray that the truth of the joy Jesus brings will be right with you as we kick off 2020.
1 Peter 1:8 says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” No one word or one scripture can describe the Joy of Jesus! Here are a few descriptions we read in scripture:
“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” (Lk. 2:10-11). We have all sinned and done things wrong, but Jesus is our Savior. He is Christ, the Messiah, the Promised One who breaks the bondage of sin. When we surrender to Him as Lord, and let Him take charge of our life, there is great joy! God’s plan for your life is so much bigger and better than your plan!
In Isaiah 9:3 we read of increased joy. Verse 6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Look at what each of these names mean for us. Someone said that the problem with life is it is so routine. Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor who came to add wonder to life! When you don’t know what to do, pray first! He is the Mighty God. No problem is too difficult for Him. As Everlasting Father He is the father who will never leave you or forsake you. He is always faithful and keeps His word! He is the Prince of Peace who can speak peace to your storm.
Isaiah 61:7 says, “…and everlasting joy will be yours.” You can live one day at a time, no matter how heavy the burden, when you are filled with everlasting joy. The week of Christmas 2005, my wife, Tammy, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had three surgeries and 14 years later she is still here. She’s a walking miracle. In the midst of the tears, God gave us the oil of joy. One of the promises God gave Tammy was Psalm 3:3, “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” If you are down, if your burdens are heavy, Jesus will lift your head!
In Jude 24 we read, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy…To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” God alone brings joy and God alone is able. God finishes what He starts (Phil. 1:6). He is Alpha and Omega, first and last, the beginning and the end. Nothing catches God by surprise. All of hell itself cannot stop God!
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn. 15:11). Joy is more than a feeling. It is a way of living. God can bring joy in your life, marriage, home, and job. If you want real joy it takes more than willpower. You have to plug into a higher power! God has more in store for you in 2020. Jesus did not die on the cross for you to be down, discouraged, and depressed all the time. He came to give us life and that life more abundant! Jesus died and rose again so we can have joy! There is more joy in Jesus!
God wants you to close out 2019 and start 2020 with hope not despair, with joy not discouragement, with peace not fear. You never have to fear the future or eternity if you put your trust in Jesus. For all who put their trust in Jesus, the best is yet to come!