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Friday, December 6, 2013

Indestructible JOY

Gloria and I lost some of our JOY! Specifically, we lost the Y from the lighted JOY sign we place on our front lawn every Christmas season. Perhaps, the Y lost its lights because a strong wind struck the sign. I tried to restore the lights by tightening each bulb, but the Y remained dark. Let’s face it, a lighted JO does nothing to brighten the Christmas spirit, so I unplugged the sign. We still have joy in our hearts, though, not only at Christmastime, but always.
Indestructible, permanent joy comes from knowing the real meaning of Christmas and responding appropriately by trusting in Jesus as the Savior. The angel who announced the Savior’s birth told the shepherds, “I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10, 11).
Even severe trials cannot steal joy from those who live by faith. While incarcerated, under guard 24-7 and facing the possibility of execution, the apostle Paul wrote Philippians, “the epistle of joy.” You can’t read that New Testament letter without seeing Paul’s joy spill from its pages.
Furthermore, the apostle James taught believers to “consider it all joy” when we “encounter various trials” (James 1:2). Neither ill-health, nor unemployment, nor a wrecked car, nor an empty pocketbook, nor frozen water pipes, nor any other trial can rip real joy from our hearts.
Let’s rejoice in Jesus and the abundant life He gives to all who receive Him. Lights may fail to shine from a Christmas decoration, but the joy in us can reflect the Light of the World and perhaps attract others to Him.