Not long ago I realized I was singing one of the most iconic Christmas carols incorrectly. “Joy To The World”, written by Isaac Watts in the early 1700’s, says, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come,” not, “has come.” I looked up the history of the song, and it turns out it was written about the second coming of Jesus and not the incarnation. Watts was concerned with the lack of joy he saw in Christians as they worshipped. He wanted to remind them to look past their current circumstances to the return of Christ when all things will be made right. 300 years later, it’s a good reminder for us as we live for Christ.
Romans 12:12 says, “Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times” (TPT). Joy is not something that is based on your circumstances. Joy is as much an attitude as it is an emotion. It keeps us focused on what is to come rather than what is. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. It’s no wonder that the enemy of our soul is constantly trying to rob us of our joy. He knows that when he removes joy, it makes it hard to trust God. It makes serving God feel more like a chore than a privilege.
If you’re burdened down, going through a rough time, let hope burst forth within you today giving you joy. We know that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28), and that struggles produce growth in us. Let the things that are trying to steal your joy push you into closer communion with God. Instead of blaming Him, thank Him for taking the time to grow you and make you more like Christ. Above all, remember that this too shall pass and the Lord will come again to make all things right. We can joyfully worship just as Job did no matter what we’re going through by keeping things in perspective. When all else fails, choose joy.