Tidings of Comfort and JOY! Yes, especially in Christmas 2020 and beyond.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and He is still the JOY GIVER. He is the gift of Christmas. We receive Him in order to have access to the great joy of His “presence” He desires to bring.
The angel proclaimed “great JOY to all” at His birth (Luke 2:10). Jesus told us a few things which we all need to remember to be filled with all the joy overflowing He brings (John 15:11). In John 15, using a metaphor, Jesus refers to himself as the true grapevine and us as His branches. Breaking it down simply, the main “things” He refers to for our joy to overflow are:
1) Stay connected in a love relationship with Jesus (the true vine) and His Word.
2) Obey His Word – be a student, follower of His Word.
3) Be fruitfully filled with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Let these characteristics grow and be released.
3) Love one another – as we have freely received His love, may we freely give His love to others.
How can the spirit of joy overflow within us like a fountain? It will not just happen. It’s easy to be negative, and it is easy to kill joy and be a kill joy, especially when things around us are not what we desire, what we plan, or worse yet, are painful and disappointing.
These “joy givers” and “joy killers” remind us that we have a choice in truly experiencing these tidings of comfort and joy. These joy givers and joy killers were gleaned from a study in Philippians with our joy guide and hero, the Apostle Paul, who encountered many joy killers in his tumultuous journey following Christ. Still, Paul reminds us to keep on rejoicing in the Lord no matter what happens (Philippians 3:1) – now that’s a 2020 word.
Are you aware that to “always be joyful” is part of doing God’s will for the sons and daughters who belong to Jesus? The revelation of those words jumped off the page to me in 2009 at a not so joyful time. At that time, I was praying – yes, thankful – yes, but “always joyful” – fail.
This brought conviction. So I asked the Lord, “How do I do this, Lord, especially amidst heartbreaks and disappointments?” Just as we are in a “fight of faith,” there is a battle for our joy. We all battle these joy killers, including Joyful Jenny. Well, really the answer is – back to the manger, back to receiving the Christ child, and the great joy that only comes through our now Savior King. Even though the angel proclaimed “great JOY to all” all do not have great joy. There is a time for weeping and mourning and we all go through these seasons, but joy still is supposed to return in the morning. It is not to take flight and never return – what is lost can always be restored in Jesus.
Joy is not going to just fall on us. Even many who are celebrating the Christ of Christmas, are living more in a state of anxiety, fear and worry instead of truly worshiping and receiving the Prince of Peace.
These GLAD TIDINGS of GREAT JOY and the comfort the Prince of Peace brings must continually be received.
May we rest in His presence and may we receive fresh and anew ALL His wonderful gifts of LOVE, JOY and PEACE. May His gift of great JOY overflow in our hearts no matter what the new year of 2021 may bring.
Tidings of comfort and joy and great JOY to all who keep on receiving the greatest gift of Christmas – the sweet Son of God, Jesus.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. John 15:11