What is our source of joy? We read about it, and we talk and sing about it. The Bible tells us the joy of the Lord is our strength. We also find joy listed as one of the Fruit of the Spirit.
The night Mary gave birth to Jesus, angels visited shepherds as they kept watch over their flocks. They came announcing the Lord’s birth and revealed the source of our joy.
(The angel) said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! Luke 2:10
After talking to Herod, the wise men continued their journey to see the newborn King of the Jews. Filled with joy, they continued to follow the star.
When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Matthew 2:10-11
Jesus not only brought joy to the world but to His Father as well. We can read about this at the Lord’s baptism and at the top of the Mount of Transfiguration.
- After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Matthew 3:16-17
- But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” Matthew 17:5
Joy at the Tomb of Jesus
We can’t forget about the joy the women experienced at the empty tomb of Jesus. An angel declared to them that our Lord had risen.
The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. Matthew 28:8
The Lord Jesus made this same joy available to us today. At the beginning of 1 John, we can read about how to experience the full and complete joy of the Lord.
We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. 1 John 1:4
You can sense John’s joy because, in this chapter’s beginning verses, he made three proclamations.
- We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, v.1
- Now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. v.2
- We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard. v.3
Then, in verse 5, John made a declaration.
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.1 John 1:5
So, John declared that God is light. Why did the apostle go from talking about life to the subject of light? I think we’ll see why in verse 7.
But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
Experiencing Complete Joy In The Lord
In verse 9, John tied the qualities of the Christian life together: fellowship, life, light, and forgiveness of sin. Look what he said.
If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9
When we look back to verse 4, John told us these things so we could experience complete joy in the Lord. Not to hoard it for ourselves, though, but to share it.
In other words, we must take the joy the Lord gives us outside of ourselves. Too many Christians exhibit anything but joy, which turns non-Christians off.
Years ago, we used to do a children’s song with puppets called J-O-Y. The words went like this: J is for Jesus, O is for others, Y is for you. What a great pattern for our lives.
During the Christmas season, and for that matter, any season, we can enjoy the joy of the Lord. Why? Because it doesn’t depend on the time of year or the circumstances around us.
The Lord fills us from the inside out with His joy. Our circumstances shouldn’t change us. We should change them. And we can because of another verse John gave us later in this epistle.
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4
Our original question was, “What is our source of joy?” It started when the angels lit up the sky and told the shepherds, “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
Merry Christmas, and remember, because of the birth of Christ, your joy can be complete. In fact, there is only one type of joy. According to the Word, it only comes as “great joy.”
Lord, help us to complete our joy by putting Jesus first, others second, and ourselves last.
Check out these related posts on Joy the Lord Provides.
- What Is the Cause Of Our Great Joy?
- Angels Announced Good News Of Great Joy To The World
- That Your Joy May Be Full In The Lord
To receive each new devotional post delivered to your inbox, subscribe below by giving us your first name and email address.