Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Christmas time is a season of great joy. As followers of Jesus, we rejoice in the greatest gift given to humankind. We celebrate that God came to earth as the Baby who would be The Way to a relationship with Himself. We remember the glorious announcement made by angels, the excitement of the shepherds to find the Baby lying in a manger, and the determination of the wise men to follow the star and search for the Holy Child until they found Him. In the midst of all the splendor, we may lose sight that the God we serve is the God of Joy.
Yes, our Lord is all powerful and all knowing. He stands against sin and hates its consequences. He is also the God of perfect love, and the source of our joy.
Take a look at some Scriptures that illustrate God’s joy.
- The first chapter of Genesis shows that God delighted in creation. The phrase “God saw that it was good” is repeated multiple times.
- Nehemiah 8:10 says “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” This refers to the joy that He gives. It also refers to the joy that He experiences.
- In John 15:11, Jesus states, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (NLT, bold emphasis mine).
I love the picture in Zephaniah 3:17. The Lord delights in us with gladness. He rejoices over us with joyful songs. This is not a stern and passively involved Savior. He is actively engaged in celebrating us.
As I understand that joy is part of God’s character, it changes the way I view the presence of joy in my life. Joy is available to me in the midst of difficult circumstances with family, ministry, or place of employment. No matter what challenging situation I face, I can walk in joy. But it goes beyond this. God’s presence is with me, and His Spirit dwells in me. In His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11 NKJV). Joy is more than something God provides; joy is who He is.
This Christmas we celebrate the miracle of God’s love. Remember, too, that we are celebrating with the God of Joy.
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17 NLT).
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving joy and being joy. Teach me that as I walk in Your presence, I walk in Your joy. During this Christmas season, may I rejoice with You and experience Your joy in deeper measure. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Graphic designed by Jordanne Babcock.