Joy in the New Year

Part of the Christmas Eve service message that my family and I attended last week involved a comparison of the difference between happiness and joy.  Happiness can be fleeting; only lasting for a short time or even for just a brief moment in life.  But joy is different!  Especially when we seek, and then have the ultimate joy given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ!

The pastor also shared the fact that for some, Christmas can be a sad time of year.  Why?  Two examples he shared were because of the passing of loved ones and also, the hurtful estrangements between family members.  I could hear the weeping and sniffling of those in the sanctuary who were suffering from such grief.  I sent up a prayer of comfort for those who lost loved ones this past year, and a prayer for reconciliation between family members who are devastated by the estrangement of a relative who refuses to talk with them anymore.

Psalm 51:12 can help.  It is almost like a short prayer, asking the Lord for help in any grieving situation.

Psalm 51:12 – Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

This portion of Matthew Henry’s commentary applies:

6. He prays for the restoration of divine comforts and the perpetual communications of divine grace, v. 12. David finds two ill effects of his sin:-

  • (1.) It had made him sad, and therefore he prays, Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation. A child of God knows no true nor solid joy but the joy of God’s salvation, joy in God his Saviour and in the hope of eternal life. By wilful sin we forfeit this joy and deprive ourselves of it; our evidences cannot but be clouded and our hopes shaken. When we give ourselves so much cause to doubt of our interest in the salvation, how can we expect the joy of it? But, when we truly repent, we may pray and hope that God will restore to us those joys. Those that sow in penitential tears shall reap in the joys of God’s salvation when the times of refreshing shall come.

In the past, some people have expressed such joy, and made comments as to why no matter what happens in life, the joy of Jesus Christ can’t be taken away.

“This Joy that I have the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away.”

“I have to learn that as long as I have Jesus in my heart, I can find joy in everyday life, no matter how gloomy life may be around me.”

“My joy is dependent on Him, not me or my circumstances and if I am struggling to feel joyful, time in praise and worship – redirects my eyes back to Him, always lifting me up again.”

“God has transformed my life through peace because I was a person that was always stressed, never settled down, worried all the time.  By reading in the Bible, it has helped me to transform and live one day at a time and not to worry about so much.”

Have a joy filled and blessed New Year!

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