It was author C.S. Lewis who famously coined the phrase…
“Joy is the serious business of heaven.”
It’s no wonder, therefore, that joy is a key message of the Nativity story as Heaven breaks out in the earth through Christ. Mary is told she, and many others, will experience great joy through the birth of her child (Luke 1:14). The baby, John, jumps for joy in the womb of Elizabeth as he senses Mary was closeby, carrying Jesus in her womb (Luke 1:44). The angels reminded the shepherds not to be afraid because their angelic message would bring great joy to all people (Luke 2:10). The Wise men felt great joy when they saw the star over the home of Jesus (Matthew 2:10).
The message is simple and clear – when Heaven breaks out, joy breaks out! Those who draw close to Jesus experienced great joy.
Psychologists remind us of the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is based on external circumstances. Joy is based on internal experiences.
Joy is a work of the soul, and you can experience joy even in the midst of difficult circumstances. The joy of knowing that God is with you, God is for you, and God will bring you through whatever you’re facing.
That’s the message that the Psalmist David communicated in his song in Psalm 16:11…
“You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.”
As we head towards the Christmas weekend, this is my prayer for you. That Jesus will give you life, the joy of His presence, and hope for the future. Draw close to Him. Invite Him in. May the joy of Heaven fill any wounded-ness and pain in your soul so that you’ll be able to say, like many before you, “Life maybe hard, but it is well with my soul.”