For some, it seems elusive. The connotations delude. “Joy” conjures up images of pure happiness and contentment.
“Why don’t I have it?”
Social media, commercials, even hallmark movies (surely you’ve seen at least one..) hint at the path leading to joy. Family? Significant other? Gifts? Attending Christmas Eve Service? Charity?
Where on Earth is joy found?
The angels proclaimed tidings of great joy to the shepherds(Luke 2:10)
James writes, “Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters when facing trials of many kinds” (James 1:2)
Paul, in writing about the churches in Macedonia, says, “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.”
Joy is not found in things of this Earth
Joy is made manifest through Jesus, whose earthly arrival, announced where Joy is found. The King of the new kingdom intersecting this earth brings joy. Because He is joy.
Because of Jesus, we can “count it all joy….”
Because of Jesus, overflowing joy can pour out of us despite poverty
Henri Nouwen writes, ” Jesus reveals to us God’s love so that his joy may become ours and that our joy may become complete. Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing — sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death — can take that love away.” (from The Heart of Henri Nouwen)
Joy is never out of reach. It is not elusive. The gift is offered to you. Unwrap it. It’s yours.