How many times have you heard the word “joy” this Christmas? It is a word that is seen as central to Christmas. We exchange presents hoping to give joy, we get together with family to share joy, carols are full of the word and everyone eats for the joy of it all. It is very much a joyful time of year.
But joy is not just for Christmas. Philippians 4:4 tells us to “rejoice in the LORD always”. It is very easy to be happy and praising God at Christmas, when so much is given to us. But after the dust settles, the turkey is digested and the lights taken down, it can be tempting to get back to “boring old life”. But we have so much to be joyful for EVERYDAY! We must not just be happy when it suits us. We can be so negative as Christians. We moan after Christmas that so few came to the carol services, or that everyone is so materialistic these days, or that the Christmas Day sermon went on too long. But think of the awesome God we serve; of His grace in not only sending His Son to be born, but to live and die and rise again for His people. He is so good to us and we have so much to praise Him for.
Here are some ideas for staying joyful all year round:
a) I’ve mentioned this before on WW but try writing a list of all your blessings. Sometimes it seems like there are absolutely none! But you’d be surprised. Here are a couple to get you started; life, family, grace, sunshine, fresh air, ability to see, salvation, freedom, etc.
b) Remind yourself of the good news, especially at Christmas time. Just stop and consider the amazing benefits that are ours in Christ. We really do have so much to thank God for.
c) Mix with chirpy people! Sometimes we can be negative simply because we have surrounded ourselves with Eyeores. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
d) Do something for someone else. There is the quote that we should serve in this order: Jesus, Others, Yourself = JOY. Doing things for others is a sure way to get your eyes off your own situation, and to make you happy.
So, yes, enjoy the celebrations and rejoice in the Saviour’s birth, but remember to be thankful and joyful all year round. Have a very joyful Christmas and New Year!