Good News of Great Joy
How much joy is in your life right now?
Do you have to go looking for Joy?
I have noticed that at this stage of life having fun is no longer very important to me.
I do enjoy my life but I do not worry about having fun.
I used to try and make most things fun.
What about joy.
The people and times that Jesus entered into had little joy.
Joy was surviving.
Having enough food and shelter to provide for the family.
Joy had to be found in the little things for the big things were controlled by an invading army and occupation force.
Rome had taken the joy out of the life for the Israelites.
The people had been praying for the Messiah for many years.
A strong leader in the line of King David to run Rome out of the area.
Actually what they got was much better.
A way of being fulfilled while in servitude to another.
Whether it was being a slave or being controlled by Rome.
“The angel said to them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the peoples”. Luke 1:10 of Luke 2:8-12
In this season of Joy some of us are experiencing the joy of the season while others of us are experiencing the Christmas Blues.
What brings the Christmas Blues?
One thing that can give us the Christmas Blues is expectations that are not realized.
Hoping that Christmas will solve all of our problems and of course it does not.
Disappointment in others and their relationship with us can lead to depression at this time of the year.
Memories of Christmases past and the realization of Christmas present can make us sad.
Those who are no longer with us and we miss them terribly.
Or having no family left with which to celebrate Christmas.
Be aware of those who you meet that might be experiencing a sadness during this season.
It can be expressed by a lack of sleep or appetite.
Or a general feeling of sadness.
We need to be aware of those around us experiencing the sadness of the Christmas season due to their circumstances.
We all can use some good news of great joy in our lives.
One thing we can do is to listen and empathize with them.
Another thing we can do is to help them engage in meaningful activity, such as helping others.
We might help them altar their goals and expectation for life.
They may need to break down their tasks into little pieces so they can get a firm grip on them.
Such things will help them feel more hopeful and optimistic.
Substance abuse can increase during the holiday season
And it is never helpful.
Does the message of Christmas, which is supposed to produce great joy, have anything relevant to say to people who are suffering depressing?
Yes, it brings good news of great joy in the form of the one who came to save the world from itself.
Christ is the reason for the season, for the hope that comes with Christmas, he is the hope of the world.
God provides us with the ability to cope with life in a manner that will bring joy to us and will reflect His Glory.
The gospel, which is not good advice but good news, can produce great joy in living every day.
The angels who announced the birth of the Christ to the shepherds were bringing good news that continues to be good news for all who will listen and respond.
There is good news about God in the gospel.
The message of Christmas is that the God behind and above all is a living God.
The Bible does not seek to tell us when and how our universe came into being.
Its major concern is with the who and the why.
As Hebrews says, “By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God”.
The message of the Christmas speaks to us of a living God who is above and behind the world.
He is the God who comes into this world.
He wants to dissipate our fears and encourage us to live a life of faith.
The message of Christmas proclaims the good news about the living God who loves.
In Jesus Christ, the living God declares to us that he cares and that he wants to help us.
In Jesus Christ, God came into this world bringing great and precious gifts to humankind.
The good news of Christmas is for all people.
It is universal in its application, for it meets the deepest needs of people of all colors, cultures, and countries.
God, in Jesus Christ, comes with good news regarding the forgiveness of sins.
God is the only way to forgiveness.
There is no other path.
Psychiatry cannot offer forgiveness to anyone.
If sin is the cause of the problem then God and only God can cure it.
Jesus Christ came that he might bear the penalty of our sin and offer to us the priceless gift of forgiveness.
Jesus Christ brings good news regarding life.
Most everyone fears the moment of death.
Christ came to bring life to those who were in spiritual death because of sin.
The assurance of a life that endures beyond the curtain of death can do much to dispel the gloom that threatens the souls of humans.
Jesus Christ brings good news about belonging to God and to the family of God.
The church of God is the family of God and the household of faith.
A loving congregating can provide tremendous support for one who is experiencing stress.
A genuine Christian friend can be of tremendous value in a time of crises.
In this Christmas season, let us extend hands of Christian love and fellowship to those who are experiencing loneliness and discouragement.
Jesus Christ brings good news regarding help.
Every one of us stands in need of the help of God and others in our life.
Paul claimed: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me”. In Psalms we find: “My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth”.
And: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”.
The Christ brings to us the good news concerning a precious home at the end of the road.
Many home owners consider their home to be their best investment.
But there are others who never have the joy of owning a house they can call their own.
Through the grace of God and the provisions of his Son, Jesus The Christ, all believers can look forward to having a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, when this life is over.
In a world in which much bad news is delivered to us each day by the internet, newspapers, radio, and television, let us listen to the good news that comes from God in and through Jesus The Christ.
Let us individually respond to the full implications of the good news the angels sang about on that first Christmas.
Let us trust in Jesus The Christ as the promised Messiah who came to meet the deepest needs of our lives.
Let us trust in his death for the forgiveness of our sin and in his resurrected and living presence for the gift of eternal life.
Let us face life with the resources he promises.
And let us be willing to share our good news with others who need it also.