Joy to the World

Everyone is looking for happiness. Christmas greets us at the end of each year, waving it’s hands, trying to get our attention and saying, “What you are looking for is here!” 

The English hymn writer, Isaac Watts, wrote this week’s Christmas carol in 1719. It is based on a passage of scripture in Psalm 98.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn – shout for joy before the Lord, the King. Psalm 98:4-6

Let’s take a closer look at this Christmas classic.

Joy to the world People are searching for happiness. Our culture offers lots of avenues for finding joy – partying, accumulation and various forms of self-indulgence. But it’s not working. We have higher rates of depression, stress, sickness and fatigue. We have lost the light in our eyes, the meaning in our work and the joy of our faith. Christmas reminds us that when God came down he brought joy to the world.

The Lord has come  Most people don’t think of joy when they think of God. They imagine anger, judgment and wrath. But they’ve missed it! God is the happiest being in the universe. Creation celebrates the beauty and joy of God. Each new day the sun rises in celebration! Joy is basic to God’s nature. When Jesus was teaching his followers, his goal was to increase joy.

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete John 15:11

Let earth receive her King If you want to experience the joy, you need to receive the King. You have to make it personal. You will never find joy in life until you first find it in Jesus. Our hearts are looking for wholeness, longing to be complete; but only Jesus satisfies the inconsolable longing of the heart.

The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

On the night of Jesus’ birth, the angels were singing glory to God. The shepherds were singing glory to God. Heaven and nature were singing together of the good news of great joy. Christmas is all about joy to the world and that means joy to your world.