Waiting for joy.
Outcasts on a hillside watching their sheep. Suddenly life changed forever.
The angel’s announcement shocked them.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
The message pierced the silence of the the night; now there was joy in the darkness of life.
The birth of Jesus the Messiah brought the gift of deep joy and peace to a troubled world.
In the midst of the pain and fears, we can embrace the Lord as Immanuel. Each year the Christmas story is more meaningful as I see more of Immanuel in my joys and struggles. The profound truth of the hope, peace, love and joy of the nativity offers strength even on the worst of days.
Immanuel is faithful, every day of our lives. He is with us in our celebrations. Even when we are lonely or scared we have the promise that the joy of the Lord is our strength — not people, not circumstances. Jesus brought a new joy, a new hope to all of us that is deeper than circumstantial happiness or warm, fuzzy feelings.
It goes beyond what we can see, rooted in the the character of the Lord.
His presence is for all of us, not only when things go well, but also when we are discouraged. That’s what Jesus does for us. Through faith in Jesus, we can fix our eyes on the unseen knowing the Lord is with us, and not lose heart.
This true Christmas joy goes deeper and lasts longer than a fleeting happy moment.
It brings hope in the darkness, dispelling fear and despair.
The culture shows Christmas as a perpetual happy time. The reality is that life is hard, not always joyful. Sometimes I don’t feel merry when the crowds, traffic, and expenses pile up. Stresses overtake my weary heart. At that time, I have to look beyond the circumstance, remembering the birth of joy to world, deep within me.
The shepherds knew the joy of seeing the Savior in the manger; years later the disciples knew the joy of the resurrected Lord. We can know this precious joy in our dark moments because Emmanuel is with us, forever.
In the midst of the brokenness of the world, Jesus appeared. In the midst of our pain and struggles, He is there, faithful and loving. We can choose His joy. Celebrate the birth of the newborn King!
Read my guest post about an unexpected Christmas event at Angela D Meyer’s blog. Several CrossRiver authors have been featured on her blog throughout December. Check it out!