Most people spend their lives searching for happiness. The dictionary defines happiness as “a pleasure or satisfaction based on happenings.” But I submit to you there is something even better—joy. Joy is defined as “a feeling or condition of high pleasure or delight.” Happiness is a temporary feeling based on events that happen, whereas joy is a feeling or condition. Happiness is a temporary euphoria. The quest to find happiness is never-ending because happiness is never permanently attainable. However, joy is something we all can experience as a permanent and abiding sense of well-being in our lives. This is one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit that is available to all those who believe in Christ.
True joy comes with the knowledge and understanding of what Christ did for us. We are spiritually dead because of our sin. When Christ died on the cross, He took away all of our sins and we were given a new life. Upon our earthly death, we will be brought into eternal glory with God in heaven. Our time on earth is temporary, but the gift of being with God in heaven is forever. This should bring us great joy, or as the dictionary defines, it should bring us “a feeling or condition of high pleasure and delight.” Our salvation is a permanent gift that cannot be taken from us; therefore, once we understand what God has done for us, we should carry that joy with us regardless of the circumstances in our life. As Jesus told His disciples in Luke 10:20 “…rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
The whole message of our salvation points us to the joyful union with God in heaven. Just as we rejoice in the new eternal relationship we have with Christ, the Bible tells us that God and His angels rejoice over our repentance and receiving Christ as our Savior. Luke 15:10,
…I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
How exciting is that? We bring joy to God and His angels in heaven.
When we fully understand the hope of things to come, we can’t help but have a joyful, thankful heart. There are instances throughout the Bible when this great joy and gratitude is expressed through singing and dancing. Colossians 3:16-17 says,
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
God knew that man’s heart, when in communion with Him, would overflow with feelings too deep to express, beauty too lovely to communicate, and praise too great to be spoken, and so He gave us music! God is pleased when we rejoice and sing our praises back to Him. This Christmas, as you belt out Christmas carols, sing with renewed joy, thanksgiving and praise to God for sending His Son.