Rejoice In Christ
A woman was Christmas shopping at a crowded mall.
She was tired of fighting the crowds, standing in line, looking for a gift that sold out days ago.
Her arms were full of packages when the Elevator door opened. Of course, it was full.
The occupants grudgingly tightened ranks to make space. As the doors closed, she blurted out,
“Whoever’s responsible for this whole Christmas thing ought to be killed!”
From somewhere in the back came a voice:
“Don’t worry, Lady. They already crucified Him.”
Isaac Watts wrote “Joy to the World” almost 300 years ago. It’s inspired by Psalm 98:4–8.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; 5 make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, 6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—shout for joy before the Lord, the King. 7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy…Psalm 98:4–8
We need to remember who is responsible for this whole “Christmas thing.”
It’s all about how…
God so loved the world that he gave his special, one–of–a–kind Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life(John 3:16).
Instead of looking to Jesus for JOY, people look for HAPPINESS in all the wrong places.
A reporter once asked Madonna: “Are you a happy person?”
She replied: “I am a tormented person. I’m wrestling a lot of demons. But I want to be happy. I have moments of happiness. I am working towards knowing myself … and I assume that will bring me happiness.”
She also said, “I won’t be happy until I’m as famous as God.”
She might ask, how did that work out for John Lennon?
Most people are driven by the need to be happy.
The people we looks up to, those we figure must be happy — look at all the stuff or the fame they have.
Some of them are among the unhappiest people on earth.
We buy things we think will give happiness, we look for it in entertainment, hobbies, sports, passions, maybe even addictions.
Or, like Madonna, we look deep within, hoping that’s where elusive happiness is hiding.
If happiness is the main goal, why doesn’t the Bible talk more about it?
But it does say a lot about something often confused with HAPPINESS. The Bible says a lot about JOY.
It talks about JOY that goes much deeper than mere happiness, which deals with what’s happening and depends on circumstance.
For most, happiness is nothing more than a temporary interruption in the boring, ho–hum existence of everyday life.
Genuine JOY, on the other hand doesn’t depend on what’s happening. Joy is an inner sense of well–being that has nothing to do with circumstances.
The kind of JOY the Bible describes can’t be found in possessions or entertainments or even in looking deeply into our “inner self.”
If we trust Christ as Savior, He makes a gift of Joy.
Just as bodies crave food, exercise and rest, the spirit craves a relationship with God.
Without that relationship, our soul is famished and restless, thirsting for happiness but finding only the momentary, elusive pleasure that never really satisfies.
There is indeed a God–shaped hole in every life. Looking deep within won’t reveal happiness, but we will find that space only God can fill.
If we try to fill it with anything besides God, we’ll be forever unsatisfied.
Moment of Truth: Happiness pales in comparison to the joy available from Christ. We can have this joy because “the Lord is come!”