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
A missionary arrived in a small Chinese town where she would begin her ministry. As soon as she stepped off the train, she noticed that much of the little town had been destroyed. She spoke with some of the locals, and learned that bandits had struck the town shortly before her arrival, burning and plundering many of the homes.
She immediately went to the home of one of the Christians she was to be working with, and found his home had also been burned to the ground. Among the few possessions he had salvaged was an old hymnbook with only one page still readable – the song, Joy to the World.
That evening, the woman went with this Chinese believer to the chapel, where disheveled faces could be seen all over the congregation – so many of them having lost every earthly possession. So the believer stood up and told everyone about the hymnbook page he had found. They went on to sing, “Joy to the World, the Lord is come…” and their faces lit up.
“Yes!” the missionary exclaimed. “There is joy in the world, but only because the Lord is come!”
Joy isn’t a product of your circumstances. It comes in your life because Jesus has come into the world. Jesus is joy! So whatever struggles you may be facing this Christmas, remember you can have joy because the Lord is come.
Ask God to remind you that joy isn’t based on your circumstances, but your Savior.
Questions for Thought:
Why do you think so many who’ve experienced terrible suffering over the centuries have been comforted by the presence of Jesus in their lives?
How might your perspective on your struggles be different if you kept your focus on Jesus year round?