JOY AT CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays are ways we all express greetings to one another during Christmas. But merry and happy don’t really adequately express the true feeling we should be experiencing during this season! Christmas is about JOY! Let’s talk about Joy at Christmas!

Of course, it’s not bad to wish people a merry or happy Christmas but the emotion behind those two words fall so short of what God wants us to experience. It’s all about JOY!

I think we should first define joy. 

John Piper gives the best definition of joy I have heard… 

Joy is a good feeling in the soul produced by the Holy Spirit as He causes us to see the beauty of Jesus in the Word and in His works.

This is really the most succinct and complete definition I have ever heard and is one worth remembering! Let’s dissect this definition and get a good  look at true joy!

First of all joy is a feeling, an emotion! It does not come from our bodies but from our soul. Our soul is the invisible part of what makes you and me, you and me.  It comes from our mind, will, emotion and intellect.

Often emotions are manifested or shown forth through our bodies. 

A good movie can make me cry. But not just cry. I can ugly cry! I’m the person you don’t want to be sitting next to in a movie theater during a movie like Hacksaw Ridge or Unbroken or It’s A Wonderful Life. The tears and tissues fly!

My body does not cause crying, it’s my emotions of sadness or happiness that causes crying. My body just shows the emotion I am feeling.

So joy is an emotion! A good feeling produced by the Holy Spirit.  

That tells us a whole lot!

Joy is not produced by humans. It is a special emotion that comes from the Holy Spirit. Actually, it is one of the “fruits” or outward signs produced by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

BUT THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT ARE LOVE, PEACE, JOY, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF-CONTROL. AGAINST SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW. Galatians 5:22-23

Joy is a special emotion only produced when we are connected to the Holy Spirit.

But why is it so special? Because it is an emotion reserved for us when through the Holy Spirit we see the beauty of just who Jesus is! Oh, the joy! Exactly!

We can all feel happiness but joy true joy can only be experienced when we are connected to God the Spirit. And this joy is only felt and manifested in relation to the Lord Jesus!

And how do we see the beauty of Jesus?

Through His Word and work. Through the bible and the world around us. 

2 Timothy 3:16 says… 

ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD BREATHED… 

You can know Jesus by reading His Word.

One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs in our lives is to take the Word of God and illuminate it so that we can understand it.

If you are indwelled with the Holy Spirit He is showing you Jesus by helping you understand God’s Word. The Bible is all about pointing to Jesus! And so is the Holy Spirit. 

Can you see how important it is to not only read God’s Word but study and meditate on it?

You can also see Jesus in his works.

His creation!  

The Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see Jesus everywhere in His creation. Through people and through nature!  

If we look for Jesus we can find Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes!

So let’s pull this all together again.

Joy is a good feeling in our souls produced by the Holy Spirit as He causes us to see the beauty of Jesus in His Word and in His works.

When we see Jesus at Christmas we will feel joy. Joy will override all other emotions. I know this is a crazy year and so a much different Christmas season. Personally I am quite lonely. But not alone. Yet, I am overwhelmed with great joy!

Are you having a hard time feeling joy this Christmas? Then ask for JOY!

The bible says… THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH.

We don’t have time here to put this verse into proper context. But in a nutshell, even in bad times knowing who God truly is, and what God can do, and that He will accomplish what He says He will do will strengthen us.

When we see just who Jesus is and what He has done for us already we will be strengthened.

It’s okay to wish someone merry or happy at Christmas. But this season is really all about finding JOY!

Jesus, God in the flesh, came down from heaven to all sinful mankind to pay for all of our sins on a cross and repair our broken relationship with God bringing us in right standing with God so we can live eternally with Him in heaven.  

Salvation is a free gift.

We don’t have to work for it. We have to believe in Jesus and His saving work with our whole hearts. 

Now that is JOY! And joy is worthy of celebrating this Christmas!

Here’s a verse to think about this week…

BUT THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT ARE LOVE, PEACE, JOY, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF-CONTROL. AGAINST SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW. Galatians 5:22-23

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70 Comments

      1. What a Wonderful message. I copied it and am sending it to friends of mine instead of Christmas cards., I don’t think that a card can say it this well. We have so much Joy to celebrate just by the things that God blesses us with everyday of our lives (yes, even with the bad things that happen), because he is standing beside us through it all if we only let him. Thanks for sharing your message and look forward to it each weekend. Merry Christmas and God Bless You with his Love and Joy.

  1. You said this all in such a beautiful way! Thank you…….have a joyous holiday season with your family. Thank you so much for this post.

  2. Hi Yvonne – I so look forward to your Sunday blog post ? As always very inspiring to me and uplifting as well. Thanks so much Hugs, Dorinda

  3. Thank you for your post!
    In our house we always say, Joy is not based on happiness, it is a gift from the Holy Spirit!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family

  4. Thanks, Yvonne for such a beautiful message this morning. I look forward to every weekend to see what message you have to share. Christmas Blessings to you and your family this holiday season.

  5. Thanks Yvonne… this is truly beautiful! JOY…JESUS First..Others second..Yourself last! Blessings to you and yours! Love, Judy

  6. Lovely….just lovely! I always look forward to your Sunday posts. Thank you for your sharing spirit full of JOY!

  7. Spot on again, Yvonne. This echoes Pastor Beau’s message this morning. Joy (and prayers) to you and yours.

  8. Yes! The joy of the Lord is our strength! Thank you for sharing! I, too, think Piper’s definition of joy is spot on!

  9. From our 19- year-granddaughter ,Lauren

    This morning I served breakfast to the homeless in my college town community.
    One man kept condescendingly calling me “honey” and “baby” and telling me I was doing everything wrong.
    But he also cried when he found out the program wouldn’t be running over Christmas break, because he didn’t know how else he would get food.
    One woman spent the whole meal bashing Christians and Christianity and talking about hurting people.
    But she also talked about how she had been raped and everyone in her life had let her down and that the worst part was being alone.
    Jesus welcomes everyone to His table, no matter how broken they are, no matter if they follow Him or not, no matter what.
    Remember to be kind, to be patient, to be understanding; you never know what someone else has been through, or that they might’ve had a seat at Jesus’ table today.

  10. Thank you Yvonne for a beautiful and joyful message. I lit the pink candle on my Advent wreath today.
    This Advent I have been trying to focus on the joy of the coming of the birth of Jesus and less on the craziness and commercialism the world tells us we should be doing for Christmas. I’m finding I’m less stressed.
    Wishing you a joyful Christmas.

  11. Beautifully said! Thank you for the great solid teaching, along with sharing your gift of the art of (beautiful) homemaking.

  12. Psalm 90:14
    Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. You cannot have true joy without God’s love in your life.

  13. I salute you! There is nothing I can give you which you have not;
    but there is much that, while I cannot give, you can take.
    No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
    Take Heaven.

    No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant.
    Take Peace.

    The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it yet, within our reach, is joy.
    Take Joy.

    And so…I greet you with the prayer that for you,
    now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

    –Fra Giovanni, 1513

    This poem raced through my head as I read your words today!

  14. Another heartfelt thank you Yvonne for a beautiful post. It reminds me of a gift I would like to ask for for Christmas; a fruits of the spirit bracelet.

  15. Thank you for such a helpful thought for Christmas. It is my Christmas wish that all people will come to know the absolute joy of living in Jesus’ love…His presence. May you have a joy-filled holiday and every day.

  16. Thank you so much for your scriptures and verses. My husband likes reading it too, it touches more people than you know.

  17. Playing catch up on your posts! The Lord has given you a gift in communicating through you writing! I stand in awe of His goodness to you (and all of us!).

  18. “Then ask for JOY!

    The bible says… THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH”

    I must say that the time we are living in is very tough to be joyful, so I will try to remember these words all the time. This is the right moment for us to direct our eyes towards Heaven and ask God for this true joy in the middle of these troublesome times.

    Wonderful Christmas week full of God’s blessings for you and yours and also for everybody in this blog,
    Charo

  19. Amen. Thank you, Yvonne! It would have been so wonderful to have a Sunday school teacher like you when I was younger. Merry Christmas!!

  20. I always enjoy your devotionals!! I am just now back among the living after Covid and pneumonia
    Thank God for His mercies!