Pastor’s thoughts

Pastor’s thoughts

By: TJ Johnson

Many in this world believe that a “happy Christian” is a paradox of sorts.

Christianity isn’t about delight but duty. 

It isn’t about laughter but lament. 

It isn’t about happiness but holiness.

But what if our holiness is magnified BECAUSE OF our happiness? What if our lament over sin is meant to be turned into laughter (Psalm 126)? What if our duty to obey is spurred on through our delight in the one whom we obey? What if the innate human quest for happiness was a desire implanted by our maker in order to draw us to Himself, the author, object, and essence of happiness?

It might surprise you that the Bible has A LOT of positive things to say about joy and happiness.

Is not our strength the JOY of the Lord? Was it not for the JOY set before Jesus that He endured the cross? Did not Jesus’ parable end with, “enter into the JOY of your master.”? Is not JOY a fruit of the Spirit? Did not God give the feasts to be an occasion of JOY (Deut. 16:15)? Do not the Psalms command us to sing and shout with JOY? Does not David pray for God to restore the JOY of his salvation? Did not Jeremiah find God’s Words to be a JOY and delight to his heart? Does not Isaiah envision a day when sorrow and sighing shall be replaced with gladness and JOY? Is not the Kingdom of God righteousness, peace, and JOY in the Holy Spirit?

Our God is a God of joy who invites the world to ENJOY Him forever (Westminster Catechism). This is why the birth of Jesus is a story of JOY. Not just joy but, the angels proclaim, “Good news of GREAT joy.”

Jesus’ coming into the world is a personal invitation for YOU to come and ENJOY Him forever. 

I don’t know what struggles you are facing this Christmas. I don’t know what depression you might be experiencing this Christmas. I don’t know what deep-seated sorrow might be lingering in your heart this Christmas. But I do know this: As you bring your sorrows to the Savior, who was known as a man of sorrows, He can and will give you joy.

His birth brought joy to the Magi (Matthew 2:10)

His birth brought joy to Zechariah (Luke 1:14)

His birth brought joy to the baby in Elizabeth’s womb (Luke 1:44)

And His birth can bring you joy this Christmas season.

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