“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
Saw a bumper sticker that said, “2020…you suck!”
Americans are down. Americans are unhappy. In fact, a recent General Social Survey shows that just 14 percent of American adults say they are happy, down from 31 percent who said the same two years ago. That year, 23 percent said they had often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now 50 percent say that.
In total, fewer Americans are likely to call themselves happy than at any point since the survey begun in 1972.
According to a new report by the American Psychological Association, more than 70 percent of Americans say this is the lowest point in US history.
Just typing this makes me depressed!
We need joy!
The biggest realization about joy is that joy is very different than happiness. Happiness often times accompanies joy, but joy is so much deeper and resilient than happiness.
- Happiness is something that we experience as a result of good things happening to us
- Happiness depends on happenstance. When good things happen, we are happy. When bad stuff happens, we are unhappy
- Our happiness is at the mercy of the world around us
Joy is not like that at all. Joy is content, reality, and truth driven.
- Joy has to do with a changed reality
- The text from Luke is in the announcement of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds. The angel tells them that he is “bringing good news of great joy for all the people” (v10)
- And then in the next verse, the angel reveals the content and the truth of the source of great joy: “to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (v.11)
Jesus is the content, the reality, the truth that changes our reality. Jesus is the reason for joy. Joy is content driven. Joy is Jesus driven.
The birth of Jesus changes everything. Death, suffering, Covid-19, race riots, an economy on the brink of a depression, etc., none of these things changes the reality that God is with us. In Jesus, we come to the realization that we were created for eternity, that we were created for so much more than what this world can offer.
Because of Jesus, this world is the only hell we will ever experience. But without Jesus, this is the only heaven people will know.
Jesus changes everything.
Jesus is the source of our joy.
Repent and believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, the Savior of the world.