From Fear to Joy

[8] And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. [9] An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. [10] But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2

The Hope of Joy is the promise of Christmas. Joy is certainly a theme of Christmas. There is much confusion about joy which may lead to much of the disappointment at Christmas. We try to create joy. Joy isn’t something we can make nor is it instantaneous. We can get a glimpse of true joy, but it doesn’t come because of a holiday celebration alone.

Joy is the gospel’s replacement for fear. Fear arises from uncertainty, uncertainty about events, who we are, and who God is. For the Christian, a life dominated by fear is gradually replaced with a life of joy. It is a gradual process because joy comes from a developed certainty. It arises from relationship, not an instantaneous miracle. As our relationship with the Lord develops, we learn that He is our source. From Him we live and move and have our being. We learn who we are by experiencing who He is and who he makes us. 

Fear still visits the Christian. It just doesn’t move in. Notice that the shepherds’ encounter with the angels initially produced fear. The angels didn’t promise courage, but news of great joy. The just born child was the promise of joy, a joy that wouldn’t be completely possible until his life, death and resurrection were all played out.

Our joy is developed, made possible because of the work of Christ, and made real by a developed relationship with Him.

Be blessed in your process from fear to joy.

Nick 


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