He complained to his father one Sunday after church of how dreadful the singing was. “Why don’t you give us something better, young man!” his father replied. And he did.
Isaac Watts was born July 17, 1674, in Southampton, England, and soon developed a love for learning. By the age of five he had learned Latin. Greek, French, and Hebrew followed. Watts accepted his father’s challenge, and by the evening service had written a song which the congregation enthusiastically received. Others followed. Though not written as a Christmas song, “Joy to the World” has become a seasonal favorite.
Joy was abundant when the angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds watching their flocks in the field and announced Messiah’s birth. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people (Luke 2:10 KJV).
Sadly, the Christmas season is not joyful for everyone. Many will mourn this season (2012) because of the mass shooting of children and school officials by Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut. Death by disease and natural causes has taken some who were present last year. Others are financially bound and can’t give the type of gifts they desire. Still more are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SADD) and are battling depression.
But in the midst of pain and emotional struggles, we can still experience joy by remembering the miracle God has performed. In the person of the infant Jesus, he burst into our world to meet our ultimate need-spiritual restoration. While he didn’t appear in the expected manner or form, his coming ultimately resulted in sin’s payment and potential peace with God. Though your present state may be undesirable, learn to find ultimate joy in your relationship with Christ, not your temporary circumstances.
Prayer: We thank You merciful Father that ultimate joy is not tied to temporary relationships or abundant possessions but rather to our connection with You through faith in the infant Babe You delivered into our world.
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