Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with JOY inexpressible and full of glory.
1 Peter 1:8 (NKJV)
Can you believe it’s Christmas? The season of JOY! If ever the world needed joy it is now! Joy gives birth to hope – and we cannot live without hope. I take enormous comfort in the knowledge that God knows the end from the beginning and that despite the upheaval and change the world is currently experiencing, His promises remain true, His grace all sufficient, His peace beyond understanding and His love never fails. As Peter affirmed, although we do not see Him, it is our believing in Him that causes us to rejoice with joy inexpressible.
So, what exactly is joy? Many people think joy is a kind of happiness, or that joy is lost in hurt and struggle. But joy is not a feeling or a consequence of our circumstances – joy comes from God and is a fruit of His Spirit.
The Bible is filled with verses about joy and how it impacts our lives and the lives of those around us. David acknowledged, “In Your presence is fullness of joy” and Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). While Paul was imprisoned for almost five years, he wrote a letter to the Philippian church using the words “joy” and “rejoice” sixteen times. And in his second letter to the Corinthians, he boasted of the Macedonian churches’ “overflowing joy” despite a severe trial.
A revelation of Jesus as your Saviour means that even when life gets difficult, you can remain joyful because God is greater than any circumstance or challenge you can possibly encounter. You can experience joy in the best and worst of times, and so that means this Christmas, regardless of the hand 2020 has dealt, you can experience the inexpressible joy that is found in the presence of God, transcending your challenges, and guarding your heart with peace.
We don’t have to have all the answers, because we have a Saviour Who is the answer. In a year of challenge and uncertainty, this Christmas, I encourage you to pause and consider this profound gift – and as you do, it is my prayer that you truly experience the overflowing joy and abiding peace that comes from anchoring your hope in Jesus Christ.
“Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable JOY and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope! (Romans 15:13 TPT)