Luke 2.10,11 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

The shepherds were told that the good tidings of great joy is The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are apt to look for the right things in the wrong places, only to end up emptier than when we began our quest. Even Christians can fall into the same faulty way of thinking. The world’s substitute for joy is happiness. Have you noticed how many people are making it their goal in life in life to be happy? But here is the trap. This happiness that is being pursued is subject to the chances and changes in life. In other words, your happiness can pass away with a bad medical report, a loss of a job or a dear John letter on the coffee table. Those things ARE heartbreakers for sure. But if a person’s joy depends on your health, employment or relationships, you are setting yourself up for a potential fall.

For sure, God does not delight in your pain or sorrow. But, in His Son Jesus Christ, He provides you with something that is far better than happiness. It is a joy unspeakable and full of glory. It is a joy that is rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ Himself. It is a joy that gives you strength when times are hard or life is tough. It is the joy of fellowship with The Father. It is the joy of knowing that your name is written down in heaven. It is the joy of abiding in Jesus. Knowing how fragile life can be on earth, God never tells us to rejoice in our circumstances, good or bad. He tells us to rejoice in The Lord always.

This advent season, look afresh into God’s Word and rediscover the purpose for the Incarnation. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to save His people from their sin. He came to destroy the works of the devil. Jesus IS the gospel. Jesus IS the Source of our joy. Life may not always smile upon us with favor and blessings, but the beggar man in heaven is far better off than the rich man in hell. The beggar had joy, the rich man had happiness. The beggar had a relationship with God. The rich man had a relationship with money. Choose God and His joy over anything else that promises you happiness but cannot deliver the goods.