Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Gift of Joy


You won't find the gift of joy gift-wrapped and under the Christmas tree, but it is a true gift indeed. Without the birth of Christ, there would be no authentic joy. There might be temporary bursts of happiness, controlled by surrounding circumstances, but there would not be joy. Joy can only come from the One who guarantees salvation, because with that, there is eternal peace of mind. When Christ becomes real in our lives, we begin to pick up his mannerisms, and if Christ was anything, He was joyful. It is one of those character traits I'm most thankful for receiving. The Holy Spirit living in me whispers joyful utterances to my heart and my mind when the outside world seems to be yelling negativity to me.

Joy produces a calm that cannot be explained, in times of crisis and conflict. It allows a person to be more than just content, but actually excited about living life "out loud." Joy gives it's recipient an assurance that any unpleasant circumstance is only a temporary inconvenience that can be overcome victoriously.

The Christmas carol, "Joy to the world, the Lord is come!" is so true. Joy came to the world in the form of the baby Jesus. Anything before that time was just an anticipation of the Christ Child's appearance. We get the full picture-the gift of grace and mercy-rather than having to offer our own sin sacrifices like God's people did in the Old Testament. Christ's life, and death, gives us the completion of God's gift to us, His beloved. How can we NOT be joyful, when we consider this?

Jesus' words are recorded in John 15:11, saying, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." Just like our gas tanks need filled up, so does our joy tank, and Jesus wishes our joy to be "full up."

I'm so glad this joy is available to us today-may it be FULL.

1 comment:

Full Contact, Savior-centric Livin said...

This is so true, and you seem to be a joyful person. I struggle with this and often ask myself - why? I want to be joyful and I try to be joyful - sometimes I am, but it takes EFFORT! Thanks for your example!