Joy That Lasts

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Psalm 16:11

Christmas season comes and goes each year and yet the true meaning of Christmas is that God came and stayed and its that knowledge that provides for us lasting joy! Being just a couple days away from Christmas we are being inundated with advertisements for items we are supposed to buy this year. Things we are told we must have or need. Advertisements pop up everywhere, everything from your latest Google search to list after list of the “top 10” things “everyone” is buying this season.

And with all the hype and slick advertisement there is this almost implied promise that if you give or get whatever item that is being promoted you will find lasting joy. If that were really true then why are we searching for the perfect gifts again this year? If we are completely honest I’d be willing to bet that you can hardly remember, if at all what you got for Christmas last year. What’s even funnier to me is most of us remember gifts we didn’t get more than those we did receive.

That reminds me of a middle aged couple who went Christmas shopping at the mall where the husband wandered off while his wife shopped. She couldn’t find him so she called him on his cell phone to ask where he was. He said, “do you remember that jewelry store on the corner where we went about 10 years ago? That one where you saw that beautiful diamond necklace but I told you we couldn’t afford it then but one day when I had the money, I’d buy it for you.” “Yes, I remember” his wife said, trying to hold back the excitement. “Great, well, I am at the donut shop right next door to it.”

The point is this, true, lasting joy is found in Jesus not in the gifts we give or receive. You see, friends, it’s not presents that will bring you joy that doesn’t fade away but God’s presence in our lives, the awareness that He has drawn near to us that provides us lasting joy. Jesus is God’s gift to us given to us that first Christmas in Bethlehem, our reminder that God came to us and dwelt among us.

Joy isn’t the absence of anything, not the absence of pain or sorrow, hurt or heartache, not even in the absence of sickness or disease. True joy, lasting joy is in the very presence of God. Joy is ours each and every time we are aware of Gods presence, aware that He is right here with us, walking among us. Thats what made the first Christmas so special and it’s what makes Christmas so special again this year. God is here, He is among us by His Spirit. That is why we sing, “Joy to the world! The Lord is come” not that He did come or even that He will come again. The Lord is come is in the present tense because He is here! Enjoy the gift of Christmas, be aware of Gods presence in your life, after all that is His gift to each of us!

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

John 15:11


Michael Osthimer





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