It's difficult to find joy in our world today. It seems as though most of our joy is tied to the economy, which finds itself in a quagmire worldwide.
Some thought they found a glimmer of hope in recent elections. Some were able to give thanks during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Many look to Christmas as a joyous time, but find it not so joyous because they can't afford to do financially what they've done in past years. Even before Thanksgiving, I heard Christmas music in a shopping mall. However, the music and decorations did not seem to match the faces I saw.
The faces I encountered were somber, sad, confused and lonely. My heart was troubled and I wondered if we had not been talking so much about the hopelessness of our nation, of our situation, if the mood and attitude of the people would be different.
Our hope, our joy is not in this world and what it affords us, but in Christ and what He has done for us. The psalmist points us to the answer in Psalm 20 when he writes about the Lord answering our distress, sending His help, remembering us and giving us the desires of our hearts while making our plans succeed.
David wrote in Psalm 20:7: "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
This is where our true joy is found - trusting in the Lord. This was made evident to me recently when attending memorial services for two friends. Both men who died were in their mid-50's and were followers of Jesus Christ. The families could have been bitter and resentful that their loved ones were taken from them early, but they were not. Both services were a time of celebration. There was not a somber moment, although we wept and laughed as testimonies were shared.
Let me encourage you to be joyous, even in difficult situations. James encourages us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds.
If ever there was a time for joy, it is during this time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. He is our joy and our salvation. I don't know about you, but that makes my life worth living to tell others about Him during this Christmas season.