Does it seem like there is no joy around anymore? Maybe not even for Christmas? If so, how do we get more joy? Is it even possible anymore?
Grace is the source
The Greek word for “joy” is chara. According to Strong’s Concordance it means, “joy, gladness, a source of joy”1.
Luke 2:9-10 NASB
And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people
Matthew 2:9-10 NASB
After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
Hebrews 12:2 NASB
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross..
Each of these verses has the same Greek word for joy: chara in them. Yet their subject matter is very different. Most people wouldn’t think of Jesus enduring the cross because of simple joy. Would we do the same?
There must be another common denominator – grace! All three of these verses include 3 important ingredients: 1. Joy 2. Jesus 3. Grace. If we want an endless supply of joy, we will want to keep an endless understanding of grace. If our understanding of grace is cloudy, our joy is interrupted. We can’t succeed unless we have these things. And the devil won’t be able to touch any one of them!
No one will take away our joy
Because of grace and because Jesus brought grace to our world, no one can ever take away our joy. It is a permanent fixture in our lives. As the angels proclaimed both in the spiritual realm and in the earthly realm, this joy is now for all of us.
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Now that Jesus has died and grace has been activated, the process of asking and receiving – the New Covenant - is now in place. This seals and completes our joy for all eternity. Joy is no longer dependent upon our outward, earthly circumstances. It is a spiritual commodity, streaming straight from the throne because of grace and only grace. No one controls our joy except us and our understanding of it.
Purposes of Creation: Make a joyful noise
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing
All created beings have a voice. Of course we don’t all speak in words but they all still have a voice. They use what they were created with to praise Him. We need to know how to listen to our fellow created ones. All of the works of God’s hands speak.
Each day, each night, each created living creature and organism sings their testament to God. They proclaim Him through their very being and raise their voices in praise to Him. If they cannot speak, they sing through their visual beauty.
You know, some religions believe that all of nature has a soul. We know that isn’t true but I do know that all beliefs in this world come from at least a small kernel of God’s truth but are twisted in some way to form a belief that is devil-inspired to take devotees off the track. The Bible, which is the absolute truth, says that created things shout for joy and sing. The trees praise Him while the birds sing to Him. Each form of creation shouts for joy and sings to Him in its own way. That is a beautiful lesson for us. We can take our example from the trees, the flowers and the birds and take whatever we have been given and use it to praise Him.
Each day and each night - nonstop - the heavens testify to God's great abundance, honor and glory. No matter what language one speaks, it is clearly understood. Every created being or organism is alive and flowing in His power and anointing. Each created being exists to testify to the truth of God's greatness.
As we sing to Jesus this Christmas, sing out joyfully. We will be adding our voice to all creation to exalt the Christ-child. No one can touch the joy that comes from grace.
It all comes together to make a life that is 2x Joyful, Joyful, which always means a double portion of grace!
1 5479. Strong’s Concordance
© Copyright Anne Schickowski, 2012
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