Do you feel it: The good news of great joy resounding inside your heart?
At Christmas we celebrate Jesus coming into the world, our hope! He brought good news of great joy, which was for every person!
It’s so easy to be distracted, overcome, and undone by the weights of trials and troubles. Yet the good news of great joy is still here, alive and active, waiting to be received so it can transform us from the inside out.
The psalmist recognized his current despairing state and cried out to God:
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me – Psalm 51:12 NIV
Imagine. He was living before the time of Jesus, a time of waiting and longing for the Messiah to be revealed. He didn’t have the hope we do – seeing the promise of Jesus revealed through the accounts in Scripture.
Even in the wait, he recognized the joy of salvation that was readily available for those who believed, those who lived by faith.
That line, “a willing spirit,” it makes me wonder about my own willingness to receive joy.
It’s one thing to accept our present state of emotions as real and valid. Acknowledging where we are at is a healthy thing. But staying there, stewing and accepting it as a justified, long-term state…that can’t be healthy. Nor is it where we are meant to be.
Could it be said that we like being less than joyful, or that we like having things to complain about? It certainly seems like a human tendency to grab hold of any excuse that allows us to scowl, riot, and doubt the realities of heaven at work in and around us.
When God has gifted us with good news of great joy, why stay hunkered down in the funk of affliction? We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. We aren’t just victorious, we are gloriously, joyously victorious.
We can sing in the rain, dance in the pain, and pronounce the good news for all the world to see and hear.
Joy awaits, as a free gift ready to be received. It’s removed from the realm of circumstance, because it’s a Kingdom of God commodity.
Joy is not dependent on the realities of this world.
May the Lord grant each of us willing spirits to grab hold of the gift and realize the wonder of joy sustaining us through every step of our journey.
OH AFFLICTED ONE
Praise be to the Lord – to God our Savior –
Who daily bears our burdens!
Cast your cares on the Lord, dear ones –
For He cares for you!
I sought the Lord and He answered me
He delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to the Lord are radiant.
Their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor [soul] called and the Lord heard me.
He saved me out of all my troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And He delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.
Fear the Lord, you His holy people,
For those who fear Him lack no good thing.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous ones may have many troubles
But the Lord delivers them from them all.
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed
But my steadfast love for you will not depart from you
And my covenant of peace will not be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has compassion on us.
Yes! The Lord our God is living among us!
He is a mighty savior.
He takes delight in us with gladness.
With His love, He calms all our fears.
He rejoices over us with joyful songs.
“This is the blessing I have given you,” says the Lord:
“NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST YOU SHALL PROSPER.”
“Oh my afflicted people
Tempest tossed and troubled –
I will rebuild you on a foundation of sapphires
And make the walls of your houses from precious jewels.”
Yes, Dear Ones:
The Lord will hold you in His hand for all to see –
A splendid crown in the hand of God.
Never again will you be called “Forsaken” or “Desolate”.
Your new name will be “God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God” –
For the Lord delights in you!
God delights in us. We are precious in His sight, as the old Sunday school song goes. May the Joy of the Lord be your strength as you walk forth in victory.