JOY (First of Advent) - Joy & Gladness
This is a delayed posting - The First of Advent was last Sunday December 3rd but I had to be at a very important Memorial Service.
This year, during Advent Season we are going to be focusing on JOY. Even though during the Christmas season we seem to show our "joy" through festivities, food, decorations and gifts - deep down many are sad and depressed. In this material society we lose truth and authenticity.
When researching for this series, I was amazed at how many times the word "joy" occurs in the Bible! Today we will be studying "joy & gladness", and we will begin with basic definitions of each word:
Joy - the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. Bliss, cheer, delight, glee. (the opposite is: sorrow & sadness)
Gladness - experiencing pleasure, joy, or delight : made happy. Overjoyed, cheerful, pleased. (the opposite is: depression & unhappiness)
The Scripture passage below is the reason why we should be exuding joy all the time (not just during Christmas):
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Even throughout the Old Testament, "joy and gladness" happens often in response to God's goodness. In the Scripture passage below, the Jews had just been saved from annihilation. Because of God's greatness the Jews even made it into a holiday:
Before Jesus came to save EVERYONE, we were all in complete darkness and separation from our Heavenly Father. In the first verse below we see that through Jesus Christ we were transferred into the Kingdom of God and saved from the kingdom of darkness!!! That certainly is a reason to be overjoyed with glee!
The grace & mercy that we have received through Jesus Christ (see second verse below) is more than enough to make us be glad and rejoice all the days of our life!!!
In a not-so-popular Christmas hymn we see the joy and gladness that the Wise Men must have experience when they saw the star:
"As with gladness men of old
did the guiding star behold;
as with joy they hailed its light,
leading onward, beaming bright;
so, most gracious God, may we
evermore be led to Thee."(from Christmas hymn - "As With Gladness Men of Old")
Depression cannot exist when we are focusing on Jesus Christ and a blissful eternity because of what He sacrificed for us. All we have to do is accept God's gift of forgiveness and eternal life.