Embracing the good news of Jesus this Christmas
It seems that all we ever hear lately is bad news. Every day, our newsfeed is flooded with negative reports of increasing COVID-19 cases, economic uncertainty, war and conflict, rampant crime and a sharp increase in mental illness and substance abuse. Fear, isolation and division are the dominant sentiments in our world today. With the seemingly never-ending stream of bad news, it’s so easy for our spirit to be weighed down by the bleak reality that surrounds us. We might even be asking ourselves, is there anything good left to be glad about? However hopeless our situation may seem, we as believers always have a reason to be joyful because a loving and merciful God sent His Son Jesus into our desperate situation to save a broken and weary world.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11
The miracle of Jesus’ birth took place during a time of fear, displacement, disparity and uncertainty, not much different from what our world is experiencing today. On a seemingly ordinary day in the midst of a dark, weary and exhausted world, an angel would announce the most wonderful news—the long-awaited Saviour has come, who would set in motion God’s great redemption plan for the whole world. Through Jesus, all humankind would be offered the free gift of salvation and everlasting life through a restored relationship with God. Over 2,000 years after the birth of Jesus, we still need to be reminded of the good news that has now been fulfilled through Jesus and allow it to fill our hearts.
Contrary to what the world might have us believe, true joy cannot be found in the things of this world, but in Christ alone, our perfect gift from above. Our joy is not a result of our life circumstances or the absence of hardship but it is a state of being, a fruit of the Spirit that is rooted in Jesus’ saving work on the cross once that cannot be undone. Because our joy comes from the Lord and not from this world, there is nothing on this world that can take it away from us. As Christians, the joy of the Lord is our strength and the great hope that we have in Him should set us apart as light in a dark world that desperately needs to know Jesus. When we choose to accept Jesus as our Saviour, we can allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with inexpressible joy and hope to face whatever comes our way.
For many, this Christmas will be a particularly difficult time of grief, brokenness and sadness. Whatever you are personally facing this Christmas season, I encourage you to choose to find joy in the message of hope we have in Jesus. Out of His great love for us, Jesus stepped down from Heaven into our brokenness so that we may have an abundant life in relationship with Him. Though it may be difficult, fix your eyes on the Saviour and abide in His love so that He may fill you with pure joy even in the midst of our weariness.