adidas football kit Joy to the world
Joy to the world, the Lord has come! I hear that word “joy” and see it in print or on signs more in the month of December than any other time of the year. If there is anything we need more of all year long, certainly joy is in the top 10 list! So, why do most of us limit using that word almost exclusively in the month when we celebrate Jesus Christ’s incarnation into this earth as the God man? Although His birth was necessary for the fulfillment of His mission, it is His sinless life as the Lamb of God, His death upon the cross and His resurrection from the dead that has made it possible for us to experience the fullness of joy that scripture promises us.
Merriam Webster defines joy: 1 a. the emotion evoked by well being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: delight. b. the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety. 2. A state of happiness or felicity; bliss. 3. A source or cause of delight. I think that is a good beginning but after I share a few insights directly from the scripture to enhance this definition, I think you will agree that it is “the joy of the Lord” we desire and seek after. It is more than an emotion, no matter how expressive that emotion might be (delight, gaiety, felicity, bliss).
One website I looked at had many of the scriptures on joy categorized in such a way that we can see that the joy of the Lord includes a number of important emphases. Joy is part of the fruit of Holy Spirit operating in one life. We see it in the writings of Paul, Peter and James and all of them refer to joy in the context of suffering and persecution. We also see that Paul received tremendous joy when he received a good report from one of the churches or individuals he was in relationship with. An example would be Philemon have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you (Phil 1:7) Joy is mentioned many times in the book of Psalms. For example who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy (Psalm 5:11). We are exhorted in the Psalms to worship with joy. for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright (Psalm 33:1) righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy (Psalm 68:3). Information in this paragraph is from this website listed below. The joy of the Lord sustained them and many who have followed their footsteps to be able to endure the harsh circumstances that they found themselves in as a result of following and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. It is that same joy that can and should sustain you and I through every circumstance we find ourselves in, whether adverse or routine. There are scriptures that plainly show that both the Father and the Lord Jesus expressed great joy over us! In fact, Jesus endured the cross, despised the shame for the joy that was set before Him. I believe that joy was the reward of His sufferings for us and that we are His prize.
It is the joy of the Lord that should separate us from what the world goes after happiness, which is strictly based on circumstances. All of us will face adverse circumstances at some point in our lives and we must have more than superficial happiness to sustain us.
Only those of us who know the true meaning of Christmas can truly sing “Joy to the world” with any depth of meaning! If you are not experiencing this kind of joy, you might need to check out the source Jesus, the source of all true joy!