It just keeps getting better and better, the closer we get to Christmas. It brings us great hope as we consider the incarnation (and it doesn’t hurt knowing that 2020 will soon come to an end!). And while we are not promised that 2021 will be any easier, hope reminds us that our final destination makes it worth it all.
This hope fills us with a sense of peace to the core of our being. God has not left us alone! He created our world; he created us. He has provided all we need on this planet and has promised to care for us forever in a place of unimaginable beauty coupled with the reconciliation of all things.
I was never great at math, but I do know this: Hope + Peace = Joy
We have it all.
And yet we are human and we do struggle. Just today, I went to UPS to mail my last two gifts. Amazon is my friend when shipping my shopping, but I picked up a couple of gifts in October, thinking that of course, we’d be together for Christmas. Covid strikes again! I stood in line at UPS for an hour, getting more aggravated as the time went on. The nice young man at the counter asked how I was, and I just caught myself before replying, “not so bad for having stood in line for an hour.” It took me a second to adjust my thoughts and my response, but his next comment about the beauty of the day brought it back into perspective. When standing outside UPS means enjoying 65-degree weather in December, who can complain? Joy says – wait a little minute! This is a first world problem. Remember who you are, how you’ve been redeemed, and what awaits!
Joy is sitting in a field, interrupted by a choir of angels singing praises to the everlasting God and his invasion into history as a human baby (Luke 2:8-14). Joy is living in the moment, knowing that we are loved and cared for (Psalm 94:19). Joy has confidence in redemption, knowing God and loving every moment we belong to Him (Psalm 71:23). Joy is looking forward to an eternity in heaven with no more sorrow, no more pain, no more broken relationships (Revelation 21:4).
Joy to the world! The Lord is come!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13 (NIV)