Joy to the World
Joy is one of the highlights of this season of the Advent. From the time that the angels announced the birth of the Christ child, joy has marked the lives of all who place their hope in Christ. For He is Savior, Redeemer, and the guarantee of all of the promises of God.
Joy as mentioned in scripture is a state of gladness, mirth, leaping, rejoicing, and exuberance. For the believer joy is more than an emotion, it a choice made as a result of experiencing God’s goodness and desiring to delight continually in the fellowship enjoyed with God. It is a gift bestowed by Holy Spirit.
In Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus joy was experienced by 3 individuals among others who were waiting in expectation of the fulfillment of the promises of God.
In Luke 2:8-11, the shepherds heard an announcement of the gospel, the Christ child was born. In Luke 2:21-32, Simeon was waiting in joyful expectation of God’s promise that he would see the Christ child before he died. In Luke 2:36-38, there is Anna, a prophetess.
Some commonalities to note in the lives of these people:
They were ordinary individuals who all experienced God as a promise keeper. And they were busy worshipping, ministering, keeping watch when they received their blessing which certainly brought them great joy.
Do not ever doubt that God will fulfill His word, whether it is a word spoken to God’s people in general or given to us specifically as an individual.
The Lexham Bible Dictionary states “joy is expected of Christians because it is the natural result of having received salvation. The joy comes on account of what Christ has done, irrelevant of whatever other circumstances are happening in one’s life.’
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia adds that joy “is the response of the mind to any pleasurable event or state. In scripture it is the natural outcome of fellowship with God.
So, if we want to experience joy, true lasting joy, it comes as a result of our relationship with God. If we want to spread joy, introduce Jesus. Tell the good news of the Savior who has come and is to come again.
Jesus himself set the pattern as his life was marked with rejoicing. He came to save and he was glad about it.
He gave parables that taught the joy experienced by those who found the treasure of the kingdom; by those who found the forgiveness of the Father; by those were doing the will of God; by those who comprehended the message he brought.
And he himself experienced that same joy he held out for those who would follow Him as shown in Hebrews 12:2. Christ’s joy was so deep, so real, so all encompassing, He was so desirous of loving us, of laying down his life for us that He willingly went to the cross, endured the cross, underwent all this for the joy of seeing us in the heavenly places with Him, restored to our rightful position as sons of God.
Yes indeed, at this time there is every reason to say, no sing Joy to the World!