One of the gifts of Christmas that was given to us is the gift of joy. It came through the Father’s Son, Jesus, and the Apostle Paul encourages us to “always be joyful” (I Thess. 5:16). If joy is going to work in an imperfect, often ugly world, then it is going to be a choice. Because Jesus came, we can choose to be a joyful person! It is easy to focus on the negative. But when you begin to focus on the positive, on the joy that God can bring, you see how one can move from where you are to a genuine joy in the real world.

How do we choose joy? Below are three choices that result in joy: 1. Choose to hear the Good News. “But the angel said to them, Don’t be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Lk. 2:10) One might ask how they can have joy when they lost this or suffered that. Paul encouragers us in Heb. 10:34 – “You even had joy when all that you owned was taken from you, because you knew you had something better and more lasting!”

2. Choose to do what God says. In Lk. 2:15 the shepherds heard God tell them to go find a baby in a manger and they said, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Ps. 97:11 says, “Light shines on the godly, and joy on those who do right.” Why is it sometimes difficult for us to simply do as God says? After all, “the commands of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life.” (Ps. 19:18)

3. Choose to tell someone else! The shepherds immediately shared the good news about what God was doing. Ps. 107:22 says “with joy they should tell what He has done.” By sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with others you will not only bring joy to yourself and that person, but also “I tell you there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes his heart and life, than over the ninety-nine good people who don’t need to change.” (Lk. 15:7)

So I encourage you to utilize these three choices to enlarge your joy this Christmas Holiday and next year. It amazes me to see sailboats sail into a strong headwind. Sailors say it is the way they set their sails that allows this to happen. How are you setting your sail? I recommend choosing to hear the good news, do what God says, and then tell others. You will be full of joy unspeakable!

John Bonacorsi, Senior Pastor

As the Senior Pastor, John is the primary communicator and vision caster for the church as he serves shoulder-to-shoulder with the staff and Executive Board to equip people in our community to develop the passion to live the Christian Life. (Read More)