While Christmas should be a most joyous celebration of the heart, for some, the cares of this world are many, rendering them unable to access this joy. There is much hardship, pain, sorrow and sin overshadowing the joy of our salvation. We lose sight of our joy in the fog of confusion. The echo of the resounding joy becomes silent and lost amidst the worries and cares of this world.
Luke 2:10-11 And the Angel said to them, fear not for behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you this day is born in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord
This good news of great joy is the news of a Savior. Jesus, the second person of the Godhead became a man; a baby no less…a helpless babe needing nurture and care. He left his heavenly home and came into this world to save mankind from death and eternity without God. Jesus was born to die that we might live (1 Tim 1:15). He is God’s gift to a lost and dying world. This act of greater love is our good news of great joy!
This plan of salvation was not only our joy – It was His joy. Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him; our salvation (Heb. 12:2). Jesus withstood temptation, hardship, persecution, abuse and death because of the joy set before him. He looked beyond his circumstances and fixed his eyes on the glorious victory that was His for us. Our salvation was His great joy!
Satan, true to his nature, endeavored to rob Jesus of that joy by tempting Him to give it all up (Luke 4:1-13). Satan hoped to appeal to Jesus’ human senses and cravings by enticing him to avoid the cross and shipwreck God’s perfect plan of salvation. But Jesus joy could not be stolen.
Satan tempts us with the same snares for the same purpose. He is known as Tempter, Accuser, Father of Lies, Deceiver and Thief whose mission is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) all that is good and rob us of the Joy of our salvation. We, too, are in the crosshairs of the thief of glory and joy.
And yet we are not left alone in our struggles to recapture the joy of this season. We have been given the Holy Spirit who helps us in our weakness and intercedes for us. He is our Comforter, Counseler and Guide. We have the written Word of God revealing God’s character, steadfast love and unending mercy; a love letter to the church. We have the testimonies of brothers and sisters in Christ throughout all the ages declaring the love and faithfulness of God. We have the hope and joy of our salvation revealed in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
In the center of this season there are many hindrances distracting us from the reason for our hope and joy but we are not rendered powerless. Might we choose to fix our eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith? We can boldly refocus and take back that stolen joy. We can take thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5) and replace them with truth (Phil. 4:8), allowing our thoughts to inform our emotions. We can shake off and lay aside ever weight and sin that mires us and every obstacle that impairs our vision of Jesus. Might we pray as David in Ps 51, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and renew a right and willing spirit within me?”
“Let me hear good tidings of great joy, and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore, my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose, my eyes up lifted to a reconciled Father:”
Excerpt from O Source of All Good – Valley of Vision