The holiday season is supposed to be a joyful one. We are reminded of this fact every time we are shopping at the store or sitting in church to hear the seasonal festive song “Joy to the World”.
But, if we are honest, joy is often the one gift we want but don’t get for the holidays. One poll found the following (1):
- 88% of people feel stressed during the holidays
- 56% of people bite their lip with family during the holidays
- The top 3 topics avoided with family members during the holidays are politics, personal matters, and religion
- The average couple has seven arguments during the holidays
- The top 5 holiday arguments are where to go, how much money to spend, which family to be with and without, who cleans up, and who will do the cooking
- 85% of people overeat during the holidays
- 42% of people unbutton their pants after a holiday meal
One gift God wants you to unwrap and enjoy this holiday season is joy. But joy is often not to be found in this world and so God sent that gift down to this world. As Jesus came down from Heaven, He brought joy with Him. Luke 2:10-11 says, “the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’”
Thankfully, there is a book of the Bible that serves as God’s guide to joy in Jesus. Philippians can be read in roughly 15 minutes, or about half the length of most television shows. We will spend the upcoming weeks studying the book of Philippians verse-by-verse so that you can learn to unwrap and enjoy God’s gift of joy for you. The 104 verses spread across four chapters speak of “joy” in some form or fashion around 19 times. And, Jesus is mentioned around 61 times. Simply put, Jesus is the secret to our joy. Unless Jesus is in your life, every nook and cranny, there will not be any joy.
How familiar are you with experiencing God’s joy in your life? Would you describe your joy as rare, occasionally, often, or continually?