While Christmas is supposed to be a season of “great joy,” at times it can be hard to feel happiness and embrace joy.
When we are experiencing a leaky roof, years of infertility, a difficult breakup, or another round of chemotherapy, joy is often hard to find.
It takes great trust to keep a positive attitude in the midst of life’s trials.
As a counseling center, we often get the privilege of walking with those that are striving to respond well. They are fighting for joy.
At the time when Christ came, many were fighting for joy in their circumstances as well. They didn’t understand how or when redemption and restoration would come.
In the Christmas story, we see multiple individuals find joy. We can learn from them and find joy in the same ways they did many years ago.
This article covers the first example of the joyful responses of those who encountered Jesus in the moments after He came to earth.
Mary and Joseph found joy by trusting God’s plan.
There is a natural joy and fear in becoming a parent. Certainly, this pathway into parenthood felt quite unorthodox, but God had a plan. The decision that Mary and Joseph had to make was whether they would trust God’s plan.
What would have happened if either of them had ignored the messages they received from the angel? What damage could they have caused if they took matters into their own hands?
The same is true for us in so many decisions in our life. Our choice to trust God’s plan, to pursue what is right even when it is hard, is a battle that we all face even today.
It is difficult to trust God’s plan with a wayward child, to pursue them in love, despite repeated disappointment. It is tough to trust God’s plan to work diligently, despite an uncertain economy that threatens your employment. It is challenging to trust God’s plan to forgive that relative who you would rather not see during the holidays.
Every hard thing that God asks us to do requires trusting in His plan.
Waiting on God’s timing for His plan can feel excruciating, but there is also joy.
Some find themselves angry at God because they think a good God would give them what they desire when they want it. The story of Christmas reminds us that God doesn’t always choose to work on our timetable. Sometimes we wait for the Lord because, in waiting, our trust in Him is built.
Jesus came so that we would trust Him with our greatest needs. In the waiting, we will grow, if we allow God to work in us and change us through our difficulties.