The Joy of Christmas is the Joy of Salvation
Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news 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. (Luke 2:10-11)
Merry Christmas to each one of you; and may the Lord bless you in your walk with Him in the coming new year. The word “merry” from the phrase Merry Christmas is an old English word meaning to be happy, rejoice, make joyful in mind. When the angel announced the birth of Jesus he proclaimed that his message was, “good news of great joy which will be to all people.” That includes you and all the people you care about. The Gospel is really good news which just keeps getting better as your revelation of Jesus increases. “Savior” means One who rescues, delivers, or preserves you from danger or destruction and brings you into a state of prosperity and happiness. Jesus came to save us from everything that is bad and restore to us everything that is good. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:13-14) “Goodwill” means to please, or favor bringing good pleasure, good intent, and a gracious purpose. God is saying I am here to bring you peace and blessing. Jesus is the Gift and the Giver when we receive Him we receive everything that is good. Happiness is a good thing, which means happiness comes from God. Some people do not know that God wants them to be happy; they are deceived to think that happiness comes from your circumstances in life. Not true, some of the happiest people I know live in garbage dumps and some of the most miserable people have great wealth. Joy comes from who you know not what you have. Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
If something is stealing your joy this Christmas it is temporary, because if you are in Christ and He is in you then you have a hope that does not disappoint; the hope of glory. Jesus is working to change what is bad in your life into something good. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5) The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love; which produces great joy and peace. One of the titles of the Holy Spirit is “Comforter”; He is there to help us get through the tough times and to help us conquer evil with good.
Depression is a bad thing, there is no depression in heaven, one of the things Jesus came to rescue us from is depression. "THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE HAS ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR; HE HAS SENT ME TO HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED, TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET AT LIBERTY THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED; (Luke 4:18).
We are in a time when the darkness is getting darker and the glory of God is shinning brighter. Be careful where you focus the eyes of your heart. Focus on the face of Jesus; For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
We are in a time of shaking as God is sanctifying His people. Temporary things will be shaken so that we will focus our heart on, and hold on to, the eternal. There may be times when things seem uncomfortable however; ultimately the Lord is raising us up to be trees of righteousness. To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." (Isaiah 61:3)
Great joy is experienced when our salvation is realized to the point of righteousness. Righteousness is when your life is in agreement with God’s Holy Word, Jesus. We have been given the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to guide us in the Way. Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)
David knew what to pray when he lost his joy. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. (Psalms 51:11-12) David knew that in the manifestation of God’s presence is the greatest joy. I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms 16:8-11)
I pray that 2011 will be your greatest year as you focus on loving God with your whole heart, and allow Him to love others through you; and may you experience the joy of the Lord, the joy of your salvation every day.