“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and JOY in the Holy Spirit” – Romans 14:17
The Christian life can be summed up in 3 words, one of which is joy. This means joy is no frivolous thing for which we should wish. Rather, it is an essential part of our experience with Christ. Joy is an emotion, but it’s no ordinary one. This is an emotion that is produced in your human spirit and is produced by the Holy Spirit. Being full of joy is a byproduct of being indwelled with the Spirit.
Christmas is supposed to be a time where our joy intensifies. Unfortunately, our modern version of Christmas often brings anything but comfort and joy. We run ourselves into the ground with the endless calendar commitments and gifts to buy. As we try to fill in the space under our tree we inevitably end up with an empty space in our hearts. Something is missing; Joy.
This Christmas I invite you to look beyond the lights and trees and instead look upon ancient texts. The Gospel of Luke records that angels appeared to a group of shepherds in a field and proclaimed GOOD NEWS that would lead to GREAT JOY. You see, true joy isn’t found in a mall but in a message. This message of good news was what we know as the Gospel. The message of the person and work of Jesus Christ leads us to great joy.
The Holy Spirit constantly points us to the Gospel with all of its earth shaking implications because it is there we find what our hearts so desperately long to have. As broken human beings our hearts have appetites for true joy but we have no idea where to find it. This leads us to walk an endless array of dead end roads in our frantic pursuit. Thankfully, Jesus came and shined light on the dark path and it led straight to Himself.
This Christmas, allow and even ask God to give you a new appetite for Him and His ways. He will give your soul a new set of taste buds!! He loves you so much that He will break your old tastes while giving you new ones. Instead of letting another December slip into the murky fog of materialism, stress, and exhaustion turn to your Heavenly Father and find righteousness, peace, and JOY.