If Jesus’ birth was the advent of joy for all people, where is this joy? None of us have to search hard to find life is still riddled with hurt, sickness, resentment, rejection, violence, broken relationships… You could keep the list going I’m sure.
The birth of Jesus doesn’t seem to have made much difference to the suffering of this world. Where is joy to the world?
Isn’t that what was promised over 2000 years ago when an angel shone before stunned shepherds and declared, “I bring you [the shepherds] good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
The answer to “where is the joy Jesus was said to bring?” is quiet and deep and life changing.
The joy Jesus offers us is the joy of knowing God is with us amidst the suffering of life. When Jesus was born God Himself came into the world. In fact one of the names Jesus is given, Immanuel, means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). As Jesus, God laughed and loved, hungered and hurt like we do. To know God truly understands the difficulties and disappointments of life is a great comfort.
The joy Jesus offers us is also the joy of knowing we are deeply loved by God. As we see Jesus heal and show compassion to the hurting and hopeless we see the kindness and care of God. As we see Jesus, the Saviour, willing to suffer and die on the cross to pay for our wrongs, we see the depth of God’s self-sacrificing love for us. To know we are relentlessly loved even though we do wrong; to know we can be forgiven for anything because of Jesus, is a joy that runs deep and strong beneath daily trouble.
The joy Jesus offers us is also the joy of a certain hope – an anchor in the storm. Jesus promised He will return to this world and make everything the way it should be (Matthew 19:28-29). The perfect life we all want — no crying, no sickness, no frustration or pain — a forever life full of joy and love really is possible and will one day happen because of Jesus (Revelation 21:1-4). Jesus came and sacrificed Himself to make it possible.
Joy to the world the Lord has come!
Prayer: Thank you for coming to rescue me from the sin and brokenness in me and in the world. May my heart rejoice in this great news that you are with me, you love me and one day you will make everything perfect.
Acknowledgement: This article was sourced from Outreach Media, Sydney, Australia.
Images and text © Outreach Media 2021