• on December 12, 2016

Advent: The Coming of Joy

by Daniel Burton
by Daniel Burton

During this third week of Advent, we light the joy candle. We are reminded that when Christ came in to the world, it was a time to be glad and rejoice. The Savior has finally come and He was going to save and redeem our very souls.  He would wrestle us from the grasp of death. He would break the chains of condemnation and the strongholds of sin. We would taste and experience freedom.  Even the angels understood that joyous nature of Christ’s coming.  When they were announcing the birth of the Savior to the shepherds, they burst into praise for the God who became man.  Their joy could not be contained or limited.

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

– Luke 2:13-14, NIV

The nature of joy is uncontainable. You cannot reign in joy under the control of self-preservation. When a person is experiencing true joy it cannot help but be unrestrained and let out.  In the coming of our Savior, our joy comes from the radical reversal of our fate. Where we were once condemned to die a sinners death, our Savior came as a man for our sake. From this coming, we can be assured that life has come into the world.

The Uncontainability of Joy

It is easy to confuse happiness with joy.  However, happiness is largely circumstantial.  We go through a thing that causes us to feel a certain way for the time being. We smile, we laugh, and we tell people but the feeling eventually fades. This is one of the biggest differences between happiness and joy.  Joy sustains itself beyond where happiness would have faded long ago.  Joy roots itself firmly in the identity of a person and intertwines itself into the core of a person. Where happiness is a cup of cool water, joy is the well from which the water springs.

JoyThis is  why the angels broke out in celebration at the coming of a Savior.  They knew that this moment would forever change the history of the world.  It marked the first and final blow against Satan and his forces. The coming of Jesus Christ marked a moment of undeniable celebration.  When he returns again, it will mark the finalizing of the saving of mankind.

The coming of a our Sovereign Savior is one we can exclaim loudly and shout out our praises out to God.  The Savior is here!  No circumstance can rob us from the fact that our God has come to this world and will return, to save us from our sins and set our feet upon eternity. The more we understand the implications of Christ’s coming, the greater our is made complete in us until it overflows through us until we cannot help but sing God’s praise.

Joy Amidst Tragedy

There was a family I saw experience the sudden and unexpectedly tragedy of their mother dying overnight. She do not been sick or diagnosed with any condition as far as I know. She had gone to sleep one night and passed peacefully. The following morning, they had to tell their children that mom had passed. Yet, over the next few weeks, I saw a family rally around their faith, fully hurt and confused, but trusting in God. While they would by no means be called happy, they were joyful.  Even in their tears they were joyful because they understood that their mother was in the arms of the Savior.

JoyWith the coming of Jesus, the first coming and His second coming, our joy is firmly rooted in the security of our Savior. Whatever situation we find ourselves in cannot override the joy that comes from the eternal security and relationship with our Heavenly Father. Our true joy comes from the redemption from our all powerful Savior. Nothing is able to unseat the King from His Heavenly Throne and we can have joy knowing that we are saved and secured by Him.  We can take joy during crisis and tragedy because we know that our God is still seated on the throne.

Christ has come to bring us joy. When he returns, we will live in joy as we live in the fullness of His presence.

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