Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 29, 2020
Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Luke 2:10
I once read a story from Brennan Manning in which he described his battle with terminal illness. When he felt his time on earth was short, he said his heart was pierced with every beautiful thing he saw: a baby’s smile, the majesty of a tree, the wonder of the ocean. How magnificent! When things are dark, beauty shines with glorious light. This is how it is with the joy of Christmas this year. Recently, while preparing for the day, I belted out a familiar Christmas song: “Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King!” With each word, my heart swelled. “Yes! Joy!”
Like it was for Brennan when beauty pierced his heart because it contrasted so greatly against the pressing problem of his illness, for me, the joy of knowing Jesus, having Him for my own, knowing He is in control, felt big and joyous contrasted against the difficulties in our world, and contrasted against the looming darkness that will surely come before Christ makes all things new. Yes, this year has been difficult for the world in so many ways. This is all the more reason to celebrate Christ’s birth with joy. Against the contrast of a difficult year, Christ, His love, and His presence shines bright!
This Christmas is an amazing time to celebrate the light of Christ that has come into the world, the promise that we will be saved in every way, and that in the end, all things will be made right because Christ came, because God came as Immanuel. When we are undergirded by these truths, when we keep our eyes firmly fixed on the promise of goodness in the future, we can look through present difficulties to a hope-filled future, grounded in the truth that nothing will ultimately destroy us and no darkness will overtake us—and we can experience joy!
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2).
What joy! And what hope!
The joy that Christ gives cannot be taken away. Kings cannot remove it. Presidents cannot destroy it. Governments cannot annihilate it. It’s joy that is rooted in truth that there is one King who truly reigns. One King who has the world in His hands and one King whose agenda is not power for the sake of dominating, but power because He defends those He loves.
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
Lord, I praise you for the light that you are, and that you brought when you came into the world, and the joy that you bring. Amen.
Write down what you look forward to in the future because of the goodness that Christ will bring to you and those you love. Then celebrate by letting out a shout!
Start the new year with Boyd’s newest 365 day devotional book: Seeking God’s Heart
The joy that Christ gives cannot be taken away; it is a gift of God’s generous love. #WisdomHunters #joy #truth #Jesus
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