“Joy” Christmas Devotional

Aaron WaidBlog

Christmas, Christian, Devotion

December 19

Joy by Dustin Smith

We’re gathered here to worship Him

Let celebration now begin

The precious Babe has come to save

So lift Your voices and now proclaim

He has come

He has come

Joy to the world

Let earth receive her King

Let heaven and nature sing

Joy to the world

This Gift given to us

Revealing the Father’s great love

Joy, oh oh oh

We’re gathered here and we’re alive

‘Cause we have seen our salvation’s light

And He rules with world with truth and grace

Let every heart now employ His praise

We’re singing

Oh what joy

Oh oh oh

He has come

He has come

He has come

He has come

We’re singing

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Today’s Devotion

When our oldest child, Rhett, came along slightly over two years ago, I remember distinctly receiving a number of comments from various people about what joy Alexis and I must be experiencing in bringing our little boy home. Of course, “bundle of joy” is one of the most common phrases to describe a newborn baby. However, as two adults in their 30’s with practically no experience in taking care of an infant, I must admit that after the first utterly exhausting, sleepless week with our little boy and my wife recovering from a C-section, I’m not sure if “joy” would have been the first thought on our minds!

And yet, looking back at that time, and all the challenges we faced bringing our firstborn into the world, joy is undoubtedly the prevailing sentiment of that tender and special period of time.

How exhausted do you think Mary and Joseph were the night Jesus was born? Traveling by ancient methods, far from home, unable to find a place to sleep, arranging the space within a barn to make a bed for Mary to give birth.

You may have known people who gave birth in such rustic conditions, but I’d imagine that few of us in the United States today could imagine such a scenario!

But joy prevailed and dominated the evening. Despite conditions challenging even 2,000 years ago, Joseph and Mary emerged that night with their little baby boy, and the joy they experienced has been shared throughout the physical and spiritual world ever since.

There was nothing easy about Jesus’ birth. Quite the opposite, the Scriptures depict the plight of Mary and Joseph as a challenging ordeal. And yet, as our song today depicts, “Oh what joy / He has come”.

James, the brother of Jesus, wrote in James 1:2-3:

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

You see, joy doesn’t just pop into our minds suddenly, or pass by us on a whim. Joy isn’t fickle or subject to mood swings. Joy stems from traversing the trials and temptations, aches and pains of life, and enduring and growing through them with God.

True joy emerges from the opportunities of suffering, much like Mary and Joseph no doubt learned much about the night Jesus was born. And in the same way, God’s people throughout the centuries that have sought to follow faith in Christ in the face of all manner of opposition and persecution have likewise found the same joy come forth in their own life.

We find joy in God because he is the source of all things good, and knowing him better naturally leads us down the Christ-like path of joy. Although this world is often harsh, rough, and forces us into scenarios that drain and deplete us – God is always ready to teach us, grow us, and mold us further into the image of Jesus. 

This world is hard, but God’s plan is for joy to emerge from the mire of darkness and overtake our lives.

In describing his ultimate suffering on the cross, which resulted in his resurrection, Jesus said in John 16:21:

It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.

Jesus knows that life is difficult for you and I, and that’s ok, because he’s given himself to us. And while we are followed by all kind of disease and sin in this realm, Jesus is fixing, reclaiming, and rebuilding us new in all of it. And joy – yes, joy – will follow.

Prayer

God, 

Your joy is something we need desperately. There are so many trials and turmoil in our lives, and it is very difficult to see past them sometimes. Can you help us to find your peace and joy in the midst of the chaos? Lord, it can be very difficult to see how joy can prevail, but it is my hope for each person that you a new focus on the joy that results from suffering can be central to our understanding of life, and the direction that you’re leading us. Amen. 

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Christmas, Christian, Devotion

Aaron Waid

Aaron Waid

Aaron is a husband, father, theologian, writer, instructor, and musician.
Aaron Waid

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