The alarm jangled. Bleary-eyed from too little sleep, she shut off the noisy intruder, turned on the lamp and sat up in bed. Why am I dreading this day? Lord, didn't you promise me a life of joy?
Joy is the promise of intense, ecstatic, exuberant happiness - an emotion that is clearly an inner expression reaching to our very depths even when outside circumstances say otherwise. Different people find joy in different ways but the fulfillment of joy in one's life gives people the opportunity to really enjoy this life they are given. One can seek joy but he cannot find true joy by merely seeking pleasurable enjoyment. The best sustained joy results from self-forgetful activity. The Christine discipline of serving others through Jesus as our example is the true path to pure joy. To fulfill the specific purpose for which one is called by God and created for is pure joy; not choosing for oneself what he thinks is best.
Joy does not need gimmicks and promotions, nor possessions and prestige, nor fairness and justice. It is not selfish but instead is found when giving up what we think we need. It is not loud or boisterous, not shallow or easy to come by, nor is it for sale or trade-in. Joy is for keeps - once one finds it, he wants to keep it!
Joy is found in a baby born simply without fanfare or advertisement, who grew into a man who never traveled far from home, yet changed the world, and continues to be found in a God who loves us and gave that baby back to us - the Joy of our salvation (Psalm 51:12)!
The alarm jangled. She reached and turned it off, rested and ready for a new day. The Christmas season was fast approaching and she had much to do. Thank goodness she had organized and disciplined her activities so that when she awoke, she was fresh and revitalized. She was excited about volunteering after work tonight at The Refuge., and about taking a new friend to dinner who needed some advice and perhaps a church home. Her joy came from knowing that although the details of life can drag one down, the big picture of Christ's birth changed many things about her life and gave her a broad perspective about what is really important.
This joy that I have, the world can't take it from me! Find joy in your own heart the way Christ leads you this Christmas. It will change your life forever!