The Lord's Joy To The World
Where can I find happiness?
How am I supposed to be happy about this?
Doesn't God want me to be happy?
Should I walk away if I'm not happy?
Happy is one of those words that will forever be in the eye of the beholder. What makes me happy won't necessarily make you happy, too, and the other way around. It's an incredibly subjective idea, and its definition changes moment by moment.
Right now, a cream-filled donut with maple frosting would make me wonderfully happy. But happiness is a fleeting thing that will only last a short while. I'll be hungry again, plus I'll be on a sugar high, which leads to a crash and burn with me napping in the corner. That's not so happy.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. Matthew 2:10
Stop and think about how far the wise men travelled to see Jesus. They were so excited that their travel time didn't matter, leaving their homes behind didn't matter and even talking to Herod (who I'm sure they figured out was a liar - they were wise men, after all) and traveling some more didn't matter. They had their eyes on the end goal. A moment with the young child, the Savior of the world.
Once they arrived, saw the star over the house and walked into the presence of the Son of God, it took three words to describe their reaction - exceeding great joy. Not happiness, not a good mood while they were there, not just take a picture and head for home. They were so much more than happy. What an inadequate word at a time like this.
That joy beyond all comprehension led to these men falling on their faces at His feet and worshipping. They completely forgot about the gifts they brought. They offered themselves first. So overwhelming was the joy of this powerful moment that all the sacrifices they made to get here disappeared. All that mattered was sharing just a portion of that joy with Him in worship.
This is what we're missing when we settle for happiness. We give up an opportunity to experience real, true, straight-from-the-Lord-Himself joy. Who are we to sing Joy to the World when we're not even experiencing it for ourselves. I know I'm guilty of that, of letting my circumstances dictate my moods and my emotions. That's not chasing Jesus' joy. That's getting upset because I'm just not happy. And there's no comparison.
So when the song writer wrote, Joy to the world, the Lord is come, it wasn't about being happy. We're not supposed to check our happiness meter and see how we're doing today. Instead, that song is supposed to remind us that pure,, perfect joy comes from Jesus Christ Himself and having an intimate relationship with Him. Now that's a great story and testimony to share with the world.
Joy to the World! The Lord is come.