His Joy

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10 

Angel Appears To Shepherds | ImageVine | WorshipHouse Media
Image: WorshipHouse Media

There are only a few moments in my 40 years of life when I can truly say that I have known real joy; when I first met Jesus at 19, when I encountered His Spirit in a new way a few months later, reading his Word at a South African bible school, in the middle of spiritual opposition in Rwanda, making a decision for Him and against the counterfeit path I was recently heading down, even in the week leading up to my mum’s death – ok, maybe there have been more than a few moments! 

I remember as a student at the bible school I mentioned, one time when everyone else seemed to have been hit by a wave of joy from the Holy Spirit. I joined in laughing and smiling with the others but I knew I didn’t have joy from the Lord at that moment like they did. Then, a few weeks later I had a full-on blast from Him in His power and another student said to me later at the dinner table, ‘I know you encountered the Lord’s joy today – I’ve seen you fake it before, but today it was real.’  

Not long after that, we were having brunch at a restaurant and we held hands to say grace over the meal. Well, we ended up declaring who He was, singing to Him, praising Him, being wooed by His Spirit right where we were, and falling about laughing with joy. I don’t know when we got to the food but I do know that the people at tables around us were intrigued, and we had the opportunity to pray for some people there. 

He had been preparing us to share His Good News with His joy.  

Of course, joy doesn’t always have to look like this. It is also a necessary and quiet strength. In Nehemiah 8, right before he declares, ‘the joy of the Lord is your strength’, Ezra had been reading from God’s word, the law of Moses which showed them just how wicked they were. The people had been weeping over these words as they realised the real meaning of what they were hearing, and then, it turned to true joy as they understood that they had a way back to God. His joy in them was a sustainable strength for the things ahead. 

If the joy of the Lord is our strength then it’s pretty flippin’ important. It’s one of the fruits of the Spirit and Jesus talks about it a lot. We can’t muster it – what would be the point? Lord give us more joy! More joy in your Good News! 

I’m wondering at this new-found realisation of the power of joy. It would seem that with joy, He equips us for work, makes us strong, declares the good news, enjoys us, wants us to have fun, and maybe even staves off the enemy. 

So when the angel declared to the shepherds that this news would ‘cause great joy’, it meant so much more than a nice feeling.  

How does Jesus’ Good News continue to bring you joy in your everyday life?  

You can watch a few reflections in our Stories section.

By Fran Hall