Greater Joy Awaits
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Luke 2:10, ESV
Have you ever walked outside and saw the beauty of a sunrise in the morning? Or looked out your window to see the foothills and mountains and ask God, "How did you make everything? Oftentimes when you see the complexity and beauty of creation, the only response is great joy! The truth is the physical world is a dim reflection of what is to come in the new heaven and earth! It’s simply a small echo of what it is going to be like in eternity. The joy we have here is nothing like what we will have there. The awe and wonder we have here is nothing like the awe and wonder we will see there! Today we will learn that the greatest joy awaits.
In this passage we look at this word joy one last time and see that it is often used in Luke's gospel alongside the word for eternal salvation (Luke 10:17; 15:7, 10; 24:52). The joy that the angels share about is closely associated with the joy that comes with one's salvation. Here in this context the angels announce this good news is for all people.
God here offers something eternal, everlasting, for all time, with no end! A life filled with great joy! How marvelous, how amazing this must be. Though there is momentary joy in hearing good news, this good news is eternally good!
The Bible commands us to rejoice in suffering or in hardship, and the secret to rejoicing always is not in the earthly circumstance, rather it is in the heavenly circumstance! The Psalmist proclaims, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalms 16:11).
The greatest joy we will experience is this eternal joy that God talks about. As we live each day, we can experience His joy, and one day when we go to heaven, we will experience an exponential amount of joy for the rest of eternity. When we come into the presence of our Lord and master we will once again find this great joy! (Mt 25:21,23)
1. How does our biblical understanding of eternal joy influence the way we think about death?
2. Can you see how God is a joy giver, from salvation, throughout life and in heaven as well? How might that help your relationship with God in the New Year ahead?
God, I thank You that there is joy in Your presence. I thank You that I can look forward to eternal joy in the life to come. The joy I have here is nothing to what You have for me there, the greatest joy awaits my arrival. Thank You, Lord, for the joy You give me. In Jesus' name, amen.