I am the guy who starts counting the days until Christmas the day after the holiday. Christmas makes me joyful. I love the music, the gifts, the decorations, the holiday specials on TV, the food, and the overwhelming feeling of having the entire family in one household. These things make me ready to do it all over again in a year.
However, these things I mentioned only give out a temporary joy in my life, a specific joy that comes once a year. Why? Could it be that I put my hope in the season and not the reason? Could it be that my joy is temporary because what I put my hope in is temporary? Could it be that I do not fully treasure what Christmas truly is? Could it be that I lose sight of the promises of God?
Yes, as a matter of fact. All of the above.When we limit our Christmas joy to a season, we are missing out on possibly the most joyful thing this world will ever see . . . the birth of our savior.
Many years ago, God sent His Son, Jesus to be born. He lived a life like many of us in a world that was full of disobedience, temptations, and afflictions (Hebrews 4:15). Despite this sinful world, Christ willingly died for us (Philippians 2:5-8) so we may live (John 3:16).
This is the Christmas story. It is not a story in which we just reflect on a baby, it is a true story in which we reflect on the power and love of Godin sending His Son, the willingness of our Savior, and the life He lived and died so we may, in turn, have eternal life.
This is the joy of Christmas.
Though it may seem simple to say “My joy comes from Christ only,” it is hard to live it out. Whether it is the newest phone or tablet coming out, a bigger house, or a new car, we only get out of them a temporary joy. The only way we can have everlasting joy is when we accept an everlasting commitment to the One who came, lived a sinless life, died a sinful man, and rose to life defeating death.
As the new year approaches, let us not weep because the holiday season is over, but live out with abundant joy the good news of the gospel. Let this joy not be seasonal, but year-round.
As Christians, we should be joyful. After all, we hold the greatest news mankind has ever heard.
We can be sure of this.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)