By the end of this article you will be rich, popular and perfect in every way just in time for Christmas. Unfortunately, that was a very funny joke and not in fact true. My point in this article is that there’s a peculiar contentment or joy that you can experience. It’s not to do with how you look or how much money you’ve earned but a fulfilling feeling of having a loving God to fall back on, a future of eternal paradise in heaven and a purpose on earth. I’m not saying Christians feel content all the time. Like all people, followers of Christ have doubts, insecurities, crave unlimited money and fail to love. However, God tells us to have joy because of Jesus’ birth (Christmas). But why is this such joyful news and how can we experience this ‘joy’ that they talk of?
What is joy? If its happy and being content than what earthly thing can really make you feel content? You always want a bit more money and a bigger house. People get obsessed with how many likes they get on their Instagram photo. It’s additive and there’s never enough. Whether its material things or experiences like receiving 50 likes on a photo or sex it only satisfies you temporarily. Moreover, at your funeral what do you want people to say? ‘Oh Ella had a really nice kitchen and remember that time she got 60 likes on her holiday photo?’. No. you want people to remember your values, beliefs and how you changed people’s lives.
Joy cannot be 100% attained but experienced. Not through temporary pleasure but through the thought that God, who is all-powerful, specifically knows you and cares for you. In Matthew 10:31 it says, ‘So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. And even the very hairs of your head are counted’.
Secondly, selflessness is strangely fulfilling, and it will be greatly rewarded by God. ‘Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked’ (Luke 6:35). He smiles on you for giving to the poor and being kind, and these actions give purpose and joy.
Finally, Jesus’ birth made it possible for everyone that asked for forgiveness from Jesus to enter heaven. The big deal about Jesus’ arrival is that instead of paying for your own sins Jesus pays it for you, so you’re sin free, guilt free and enter heaven – a place of love and paradise. This is the joy and good news of Jesus coming to earth. God: the creator of all came to earth, and he was born in a hay-covered stable to die for us. Christmas is ‘ news of great joy that will be for all the people’ Luke 2:10. That’s why God calls us to have a feast, invite people into our home and celebrate the good news that Jesus has been born. That’s joy! Having faith and joy in Jesus is fulfilling; it lasts for eternity and it changes people’s lives.
I pray that you have a wonderful Christmas. I pray that you remember the reason for the season and invite the excluded into your home, and give to the needy.
By Ella Johnson