I looked forward to turning 16, I was so happy on that day, and after that life returned to normal. I was full of excitement at getting my drivers license, after driving around for a few hours causing problems for other drivers, I came home exhausted and excitement gone. Happiness and excitement seem to last only for a short time.
If happiness and excitement fades, what about joy? Can I experience uplifting joy in my heart one moment and find that it is gone the next moment? Yes, when my joy is based on things that pass away like food, friends and family, romantic love. What will give me never ending joy must also have never ending power.
When Jesus was born thousands of years ago in Bethlehem, an angel appeared to shepherds protecting their sheep at night, and announced loudly: “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem!” (Luke 2:10-11 Living Bible). Why should this be joyful news to anyone?
Shepherds lived a difficult hard life like many people all over the world today; any leader who can make life better for the people, is a source of joy. A leader who can do this without end, is a source of lasting joy. Jesus came, did amazing things for people, and left – but the Bible teaches that Jesus WILL return.
Acts 1:9-11 (Living Bible) says: “It was not long afterwards that he rose into the sky… leaving them staring… suddenly two white-robed men were standing there… and said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has gone away to heaven, and some day, just as he went, he will return!”
Dear God, Jesus WILL return is the source of lasting joy for Christians but this can be a hard thing to believe; help me in my unbelief to understand this, to accept it, and to experience the lasting joy it brings, Amen!