December 21, 2012

C is for Christmas - Part 8: Joy

 "Almost every traditional Christmas carol includes such words as joy, joyful, rejoice, glad, gladness, and merry, because the birth of Jesus Christ was a joyful occasion for the whole world. God had fulfilled His promises and the Savior at last had come."

I loved this section on 'Joy' and it's true meaning. Did you know joy and rejoice occur 132 times in the New Testament alone? The authors explain the difference between real joy and happiness:

"Is there a difference between joy and happiness? Most dictionaries say that there is, for joy is defined as 'a deep-rooted rapturous great as to be almost painful in its intensity.' Happiness, however, depends primarily on happenings. We're happy when everything is going well for us. Joy, however, fills our hearts even when circumstances are difficult. People who are outer-directed are happy when circumstances are favorable; people who are inner-directed - meaning having faith in Christ - are joyful even when circumstances are unfavorable. They can say with Paul, 'I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.' (Phil. 4:11)

For Christians believers, joy comes from the Holy Spirit within them and not from the happy situation around them, for 'the fruit of the Spirit is love,joy, peace.' (Gal. 5:22) It is 'joy given by the Holy Spirit' (1 Thess. 1:6), the very joy of Christ Himself who prayed that we might have the 'full measure' of His joy within us (John 17:13). This joy isn't something that we manufacture or imagine; it's the miraculous fruit of God's life within us. 'For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit' (Rom. 14:17).

Christmas is often thought of as a time of happiness and joy, but for many that ends when the decorations come down. It shouldn't for the believer, for His joy is with us always. We can 'Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!' Philippians 4:4

The rest of this section goes on to talk about the joys of Christ's birth. The joy Mary felt to carry the Son of God, the joy Elizabeth and Zechariah felt to been given a son in their old age, the joy John the Baptist felt while still in his mother's womb when he came into contact with the Savior in His mother's womb, the joy of the angels, the joy of the shepherds and the joy of the magi. Needless to say true joy is from the Lord.

"Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4

Click  HERE  for Part 1 of C is for Christmas
Click  HERE  for Part 2 of C is for Christmas: Bethlehem
Click  HERE  for Part 3 of C is for Christmas: Xmas
Click  HERE  for Part 4 of C is for Christmas: The Word
Click  HERE  for Part 5 of C is for Christmas: King
Click  HERE  for Part 6 of C is for Christmas: Peace
Click  HERE  for Part 7 of C is for Christmas: Hope

This concludes my posts for C is for Christmas by  David W. and Warren W. Wiersbe. Hope you enjoyed them.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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