“Behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people!” (Luke 2:10)
A man named Tim Hansel lived every day with excruciating pain. He wrote in his book, You Gotta Keep Dancing, that “pain and suffering are inevitable but misery is optional.” That is true for a Spirit controlled disciple of Jesus. Tim also wrote “I can choose to be joyful.”
Joy is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit the Apostle Paul wrote about in his letter to the Galatians. (Galatians 5: 22-23) As evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, joy could be paraphrased “happiness that does not make sense.”
The derivation of the word “happiness” has to do with what happens to us. But this joy, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit living in us, is not controlled by what happens to us. That is why it does not make sense, especially to non-spiritual people.
In the very short letter the Apostle Paul wrote from prison to his favorite church, the Philippians, he used the word joy 17 times!
Appearing to the shepherds the angels explained why their declaration would bring great joy to all people: “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
Great joy came because the One born is the Savior. He is Christ, which is the Greek way of saying the Messiah. And He is to be our Lord.
Joy came because Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to those who follow Him. This joy is intended for all people, including you and me.
Are you choosing to be joyful?
Dick Woodward, 20 December 2013