Sunday, December 13, 2020


A teen girl is pregnant. Her boyfriend marries her even though he is not the father. In her 9th month she was forced to move by the government and gives birth in a homeless shelter. A short time later she must move again. Now she is a political refugee in fear for her son's life. That baby would grow up to become a convict, executed for a crime he didn't commit.

This tragic story is actually one of Joy. An angel said “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

Some mistake happiness for joy but JOY is greater than happiness. The Bible mentions "joy" or "rejoicing" 330 times. But it only mentions "happiness" 26 times. Happiness depends upon what happens to you. So, if all the circumstances are right, then you can be happy. But joy comes from inside.

Paul says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control." (Galatians 5:22)

Joy is an evidence of the presence of God in your life. If God is in your life, if you are filled with the Spirit of God, then this fruit of the Spirit will be obvious in your life.

Jesus taught us joy can be experienced despite our circumstances. On the night before the crucifixion, Jesus is in the upper room with His apostles. Gethsemane, the arrest & trial are coming. Soon He will be nailed to a cross, and He will die. On the last night of His life, facing the cross, Jesus talks about love & joy, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you & that your joy may be complete." (John 15:11)

The Bible points to the source of our joy, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author & perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross & scorned its shame." (Hebrews 12:2)

Paul writes, "Therefore we don’t lose heart. Though outwardly we waste away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Our light & momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Joy is the evidence of God’s presence in your life. It turns pain into victory