We’ve already seen that joy is encountered in relationship, so when the angels announced that a Savior was born in Bethlehem what they were heralding was that Joy Himself had come into their world! It was the announcement that humankind would never be alone ever again. God Himself has come to dwell with us forever and ultimate joy is found in His presence (Psalm 16:11).
22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matt.1:22-23 *)
We need to understand that Jesus’ birth was God’s beachhead against what the enemy had done to Adam and his kind. Adam no longer had to hide from God or try to reach up to Him with religious rituals; God has reached out to Adam with His unfailing love.
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. (John 1:14 NLT)
And before Jesus returned to His Father He promised not to leave us alone. In fact, He would no longer just dwell with us but would now dwell in us.
15-16 “If you love me, obey me; and I will ask the Father and he will give you another Comforter, and he will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, for it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you do, for he lives with you now and some day shall be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm—I will come to you. 19 In just a little while I will be gone from the world, but I will still be present with you. For I will live again—and you will too. 20 When I come back to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. (John 14:15-20 TLB *)
As I said previously, the only thing God ever wanted from us is to receive His infinite love for us and love others with the same love. This is the message of Christmas. Joy has come to all humankind!
“Glory be to God on high, and peace on earth, and to men rejoicing.” (Luke 2:14 NMB *)
The realization of peace on earth and joy to the world includes us. Our job is to obey Jesus which means to remain, commune, abide, and sojourn in His other-centered, self-giving love and give it away to others.
9 I loved you as the Father loved me. Now remain in my love. 10 I have obeyed my Father’s commands, and I remain in his love. In the same way, if you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. 11 I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.
12 “This is my command: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:9-12 NCV *)
This phase of God’s invasion plan is complete. We now live and move and have our being in Christ through His indwelling Spirit. When Jesus died, we died, when He was raised to life, we were raised to new life with Him. Our real self now lives from heaven to earth.
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Eph.2:6 NIV *)
3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Col.3:3 NIV *)
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil.3:20 NIV *)
“Joy is the key to life. Joy is My nature. Joy is the Abiding atmosphere in Heaven. As the Beloved, you have the right to be glad.
Be of good cheer, Beloved. You are the living embodiment of Glad Tidings of Great Joy. You must find all your happiness from Christ within. Abide in Me, and I in you. Simple. Just stay, dwell and live from the place I have set aside for you.
There is no place to get to: you are already there. All you are learning is how to abide in, explore and discover all that I AM for you.
Take a deep breath…and relax. Let the tension of performance leave your soul and body. You are in Christ. Rest, relax and let your heart be filled with joy and gladness.
Live from this place of rejoicing. Make it yours! You belong here. You are the Beloved.”
Beloved, we sing “Joy to the World” because joy came to dwell with us and now lives in us. God has answered the deepest question of the human heart. We can now say, “I am not alone and I do matter!” But this also means that Joy is now coming to the world through you and me. So let’s be Glad Tidings of Great Joy to someone else this Christmas…and every other day, for that matter.
Many joy-filled blessings to you and yours. Merry Christmas!