Joy to the world (Dec 14)

Rejoice always” 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” Philippians 4:4
Several times in the New Testament Paul commands us to rejoice in the Lord always. Issac Watts’ classic Christmas carol Joy to the world reminds us of the reason why we should be especially full of joy at Christmas – we are celebrating that the Lord is come. We are celebrating that the Saviour reigns. We are celebrating grace has come. We are celebrating that the curse is broken. We rejoice in the wonder of His love.
That is the reason for our hope. That is why we can rejoice in the Lord always, though our current circumstances may be tough. Maybe today you are battling to keep going. Maybe you have been given a poor prognosis. Maybe you are waiting on biopsy results coming back. Maybe you are preparing for your first Christmas with one less plate at the table. Maybe rather than searching for the perfect Christmas present you are simply searching for a job to pay the bills. There are many things that can try to steal our joy. But our God is greater than any of these. Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18Do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Though we may be facing all sorts of difficult situation we can take hope for we know in the scale of eternity this momentary affliction is so so short compared to the eternity that is ahead of us with God. We know that nothing can separate us from His love. We know that He sent His Son to set us free from the chains we face. We know there is an eternal weight of glory ahead of us because of our faith in Jesus, the Saviour King born to die in our place. SO we can rejoice always because of the hope we have in Jesus. We can rejoice always for we know that no matter our circumstances God, our everlasting Father loves us and He is with us – the manager at Christmas is the proof of that and is the reason we can rejoice always, in all things. Let the world see your joy this Christmas, regardless of the circumstances you face as we celebrate that our Lord has come, that our Saviour reigns and His grace will sustain us through these momentary afflictions into the eternal weight of glory where tears and death and pain are no more.

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