The “Joy” of Christmas…Got it?

Everyone wants to be Merry, or Happy all the time, but especially at Christmas. I sure do! The problem is life doesn’t always cooperate.

Circumstances that make you and I happy ebb and flow depending wholly upon what happens next, or what has happened in the past. If you were invited to the right parties, received that special gift you dreamed of, or the crazy aunt behaved herself when the family was gathered are some of the things that contribute to “happiness”.

Leaving the turkey in the oven far too long, having transmission problems on the way to grandma’s house, or your family misbehaving at the Christmas table are a sampling of things that tend toward us not being “happy”.

The truth is, for the most part, we simply can’t control our circumstances. Other people, mechanical things, the local news, politics, the economy and the list is endless of the things that are completely beyond our reach. So, if your goal is to be happy, good luck!

True contentment is deep-seated and unshakable, it rests not in our happenings but rather in our relationship with God through Christ. The joy he gives (a far more precious thing than happiness…) is unwavering. Knowing that the Creator is “for” you and that He loves you perfectly, produces joy the Bible describes as “unspeakable”, so my attempt to adequately describe it will fail.

The knowledge that without regard to what happens today, or Christmas day, everything will be all right because of whose you are and where you are going wells up in a heart of joy and confident living that brightens the day of those who observe your steadiness in troublesome times. I hope that this Christmas and the approaching new year you will know the “Joy” of Christmas and every day because of your total trust in the Joy-giver.

Because God loves us so very much He invaded our humanity to live among us. He was in every sense “God with us!” Yes, Jesus came to do what we could not, perfectly be obedient to all of God’s desires for humans. He finished the job well! Then, in the supreme act of love he took upon him the sins and failings of us all and died for us the death we faced. Then in 3 days he rose from the dead so now this gracious offer could  be announced.

 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

What a gift! I hope each person who reads this will cherish this love gift of God this Christmas and know the joy only He can give.

Royce Ogle
Monroe, LA

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