But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)
Notice the progression of the words good news…great joy…for all people. The good news if properly perceived and received should result in a joy so great that it can’t be kept a secret! I find in this announcement of Christ’s birth a powerful key to life-giving leadership and daily living.
Where did this great joy come from? It came down from Heaven. This means Heaven is a place of great joy. Why is that? Because God is a God of great joy! He’s the only truly sovereign being in the universe. Sovereignty relates to having both the freedom and the power to do whatever you decide to do…whatever pleases you. As human beings we have only limited freedom and limited power. But God has never failed to accomplish anything that He has planned. For this reason He is an “unfrustrated” God! Think on that. An existence without frustration is no doubt a very happy one!
This joyful message that comes to us in Christ is none other than a revelation of Heaven’s God! The Bible says that Christ was the fullness of God in bodily form and that He was “anointed with the oil of gladness above all his brethren.” (Ps 45:7) It takes the gladness of God to truly proclaim and reflect the good news! There are too many sad believers trying to convince suspicious people of good news. Our lives must tell the story! The atmosphere around us needs saturation with God’s goodness. Check out this prophecy:
“I will saturate the soul of the priests with fatness, and My people will be satisfied with My goodness,” declares the Lord. (Jer 31:14, NASB margin)
Glory to God! I think that we see the same principle here. Don’t miss it. God’s people must get their joy from Jesus and not from other people or their circumstances! As our souls are saturated with the goodness of God, then the folks around us can start catching on to the truly Good News!
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. At one point in his life, Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by saying: “I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers.” What a sad indictment.
It’s not possible to truly proclaim and reflect the good news with a lean soul! I still agree with George Mueller: A preacher’s first priority is to get his soul happy in God! But what’s true for the preacher is equally true for all Christians: get the joy of God, the atmosphere of heaven, in your soul. Then when you serve people they will touch the goodness of God.
Joy incarnate. That’s what Christmas is about. Heaven’s joy invading earth’s sorrow and darkness. We need more incarnations of Heavenly joy! Being filled with the Holy Spirit is to incarnate the joy of Heaven. May you experience the great joy of the good news this Christmas. Hallelujah. Merry Christmas!