Simeon, a leader in the temple, experienced great joy coming face to face with Jesus and knowing that God had kept His promise. Years before, Simeon was told by God that he would not die until he had seen the Chosen One who would deliver Israel from oppression.
The promises of God are a great source of joy because they remind us God can be trusted.
Simeon illustrated two ways we can find joy in trusting the promises of God.
The Joy of Waiting Expectantly for Promises Made
For Simeon, the wait was hard. He was in failing health, and the political stability seemed only to worsen with each passing year. He didn’t have much reason to fight for a longer life, but there was that one promise that God had made.
Simeon didn’t just wait, he waited expectantly because of his trust in the promises of God.
When you are waiting for a close relative to be willing to forgive you, a lost child to come back home, or the forgotten check that is always “in the mail”, you feel a sense of powerlessness to affect change. We can grasp for control, but that only seems to make matters worse.
Experiencing joy in the waiting allows us to sit in peace, not liking our difficult circumstances but expecting God to move.
The Joy of Expressing Gratitude for Promises Kept
As Jesus’ parents brought Him into the temple right after His birth, Simeon let them know that their son was the fulfillment of God’s promise and that God had a special plan for Jesus.
Simeon surprised everyone with a joy greater than the parents would have expected as he took Jesus in his arms and praised God for bringing salvation to His people. (Luke 2:28-32)
In the midst of the storms of life, we can become focused on the pain and difficulties that we are facing. In times of economic uncertainty, health challenges, and family disunity, it can shake our faith in God.
One of the constant reminders to us throughout Scripture is to remember what God has done.
Whether you’re waiting for a promise or you’ve seen it fulfilled, you can always express gratitude. You can remember and thank God for how He has kept His promises in the past.
Being grateful for good seasons can help us experience joy even in difficult seasons.
The promises of God are a great source of joy because they remind us God can be trusted. He is faithful, and He moves in the best ways at the right times.
As you experience the week after we celebrate the birth of Christ, take time to remember the promises of God and renew your mind by refocusing on the promises still to come.
This quote from D.L Moody appropriately sums up our Christmas series on joy:
“I am so thankful that I have a joy that the world can not rob me of; I have a treasure that the world can not take from me; I have something that it is not in the power of man or devil to deprive me of, and that is the joy of the Lord.”