Joy to the World, the Lord is Come!
I have a friend who was diagnosed with cancer a few days before Christmas last year. Not yet 60 years old, she heard the doctor say, “You have stage 4 lung cancer.” As you can imagine, she and her husband had their world turned upside down that day.
The thing that has been striking about their journey is the way this couple has found the true meaning of joy in their challenging, emotionally up-and-down journey this last year. She recently wrote, “Now, we are in a place where, our faith having been tested, we have a better understanding of joy. Joy, that is lasting joy, must begin with an intimate relationship with Jesus. Joy is nourished with gratitude and thankfulness. We are experiencing joy in this difficult time because we trust Jesus. We know that He is who He says He is. We are full of gratitude for His great love and thankful for His creative and limitless power.”
Ceci and I join her in her closing statement, “It is our heartfelt desire that each of you experience the great joy of Christmas!”
Here are the words to one of our very favorite Christmas Carols. Let joy and gratitude rise in your hearts as you worship Him:
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare him room And heaven and nature sing! And heaven and nature sing! And heaven . . . and heaven . . . and nature sing.
“Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ, While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains, Repeat the sounding joy! Repeat the sounding joy! Repeat . . . repeat . . . the sounding joy!
“No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make his blessings flow Far as the curse is found! Far as the curse is found! Far as . . . far as . . . the curse is found!
“He rules the world with truth and grace And makes the nations prove The glories of his righteousness And wonders of his love! And wonders of his love! And wonders . . . wonders . . . of his love!” (Isaac Watts, 1719)
“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news od great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2: 10-11; ESV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
Worship Him as you sing the Christmas carol above.
Sing other favorites.
Thank the Lord for everything you are thankful for, even if life is challenging to you right now.
Thank Him for more opportunities in the new year to make His joy known to others.
If you are going to church services this evening, invite someone to come with you who may be having a hard time and could use the joy of this season. True joy comes from knowing Him.
A prayer you can pray:
Lord, my heart is overwhelmed with love and joy for You. You are the magnificent One. You are faithful and good and kind. You are giving and forgiving. There is nothing You won’t do for those who love You. There is nothing You would withhold from me. You want to be known by me, so I can make You known to others. Thank You for authoring joy in my life, even when the circumstances are confusing, painful, or emotionally hard. Your joy can rise above these things, because it is dependent on the intimacy of my relationship with You and not on my life’s circumstances. How thankful I am! How grateful! Where would I be without You? You are “God With Me”. You are the One of whom the angels sang that holy Christmas night. You are love and hope and joy, Jesus! I praise Your holy, incomparable Name! Amen.
Joy to the world! Jesus our Savior is come!