Joy in Jesus


MC Midweek Dec. 21, 2022

by Pastor Cliff Myers

I love Christmas and I love the Joy that it brings into our lives and into our body of believers.  Truly we can sing, “Joy to the World, the Lord is come”.  Now, not all people experience JOY and not all congregations experience and express JOY. The opposite of Joy is misery, despair, and hopelessness.

When it comes to individuals there are two things that can’t be present in a person simultaneously – namely joy and sin. As soon as sin enters a person’s mind and takes control, joy departs. To get the joy back, sin has to leave. A cleansing needs to take place: first sin as guilt, then sin as something that has power over me. Christmas is the coming of Joy through our blessed Savior Jesus. Isaiah 9:6 states, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given”. This speaks of Jesus’ humanity and divinity. He came to die for our sins on the cross of Calvary to restore our hope and joy.

This is confirmed by a word in Proverbs 28:13: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

When it comes to churches, there are many churches that have lost their JOY too. Churches that want to experience revitalization and renewal must get serious about becoming a place filled with joy. As a pastor, I am very grateful for the JOY I see expressed at Mt. Carmel Baptist. Yes, we are confronting difficult decisions, bad habits and broken systems, but the renewed spirit of Joy within the body of believers is so refreshing. We have refined our Great Commission and Great Commandment mission; we have assessed our values and are aligning a discipleship pathway for HIS church. We are discerning God’s Vision for our fellowship of believers.

But Joy does not exist because things are healthier now. The opposite is true. Health is coming as a result of the Joy which is rooted in something more stable, placing Jesus that was born in Bethlehem first in our lives and in the body. Joy comes from placing our hope in Jesus. It is His Church.

Christmas is upon us. Joy is within us. Joy is contagious. As we express Joy, it will affect not only us but others who worship with us. There are many churches in our world that are Joyless. Thank God Mt. Carmel is not one of them. Joylessness is contagious and so is Joy.  As we approach this Christmas the one thing our culture may lack most is true Joy. They build their lives on false hopes, false wishes, and human effort. But our Joy comes from the baby born in Bethlehem…Jesus! Joy is our greatest form of witness. So how is your “joy meter” reading this Christmas? Sing it with me, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come”.