Today as we continue our sermon series All I Want for Christmas is Jesus we are discussing the third week of Advent’s Theme: Joy
We got a closet full of Christmas presents, many of which still need to be wrapped. Many are a toys for Daisy. We know how with great JOY she is going to open them up and play with her new toys Christmas morning. That’s not the type of joy I’m talking about today. There’s a Joy that Jesus gives us that can go deep into our souls and is not dependent on your circumstances, your bank account, your possessions, your health, or your wealth.
In the year 2020, how much more do we need to discover joy in Jesus and not in our circumstances?
Today I want to talk about the secret of finding joy in Jesus.I invite you to turn in your Bibles to our lectionary text: Isaiah 61. There is a messenger, a Messiah, who is going to proclaim good news to God’s people who have suffered the pain of judgment and exile. This is how almost always is: the message of joy comes to us in the midst of struggle and pain.
We know from Luke Ch. 4, that one day Jesus read Isaiah 61 in a synagogue and proclaimed that this Scripture has been fulfilled in himself. He is the messenger and Messiah Isaiah prophesied about. So as hear the words of the prophet Isaiah, we also hear Jesus saying these words and proclaiming to us the good news:
Isaiah 61 begins:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God
How does Jesus bring us joy?
Jesus proclaims to us Good News.
After Jesus is baptized, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and then the Spirit sent him into wilderness to be tested by Satan. Jesus’ is victorious in the wilderness and his first stop is his hometown of Nazareth where in the synagogue he reads this passage of Scripture.
Now the Jewish expectation of the Messiah was that he would come to deliver, redeem and restore God’s by people by bringing judgment on their enemies, restoring all injustices, and by bringing God’s favor and blessing upon the people.
The Good News is, Jesus is on the throne. The lamb of God who was slain has triumphed and made a way for you. Now he’s Lord of All. Jesus reigns. Jesus is king. Jesus is Lord. Nothing in this life can separate you from his love. Nothing can ultimately harm you. Mere mortals can nothing to you. The brokenness of this life can’t take it away from you. Human beings, the world, or Satan himself can’t take away this good news of joy. It is secure by the blood and payment of Jesus Christ, ratified by the Holy Spirit, and now are eternally secure in his love.
Jesus comforts us in our sorrows and promises to redeem them all.
“to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
Have you ever considered the idea that Jesus is a comforter? One of his main aims is to comfort you. When the Psalm says “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” on this side of the Gospels, we know that it’s true that our Lord save is close to the brokenhearted and he saves those who crushed in spirit. In the Lord’s wisdom and in the brokenness of our world, we experience broken hearts. Our spirits do get crushed. We can despair to great depths. But the Lord comes to us in these moments as a comforter. As a savior.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. That’s a promise. There’s a promise that Jesus is somehow going to redeem and restore all the brokenness that we’ve experienced in this life. If you turn to him, he will comfort you in all your sorrows and one day he will turn it all around and make everything beautiful in its time. Trust Christ.
Jesus gives us his righteousness.
10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness”
The heart of the Gospel is that Jesus has done something for us that we could have never done for ourselves. He gives us his own righteousness.
In order for us to be right with God, when need our sins wiped away and a righteous account before God. There’s nothing you can do to make that happen. But the good news is Jesus has done it for you.
How do we experience the joy available to us in Christ??
1 Thess 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Paul’s emphasis here is not so much on the experience of joy, but on the active expression of it. They are to “rejoice always,” which, as Philippians 4:4 bears out, means not simply to express joy in general, but specifically to “rejoice in the Lord.- Gordon Fee
This is not a command to pretend everything is alright. This is not a command to get over your grief. This is not a command to be thankful for all in circumstances.
No, it’s an invitation to find joy in God but actively choosing to rejoice in him, pray to him, and give thanks to him in all circumstances.
Secret of Joy in Christ is knowing his joy is available to you and rejoice in him at all times.
So friends. Doesn’t your heart long to joyfully worship Christ? All you need and all we should really want for Christmas this year, is more of Jesus. Do whatever you need to do to make time to worship Him and find the joy in Christ that he has freely and gladly made available to you.
I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
His name is Jesus, his joy is available, his arms are open wide, and he is waiting for you to come. Will you enter in?