Joy, peace and love; these are three words you heard much of through the month of December, on signs, billboards and holiday cards. But joy, peace, and love are three words that cannot be separated.
What is the joy we are talking about? We might focus on the joy we receive from a special gift, eating your favorite holiday cookies or simply the holiday season. We might sing it in “Joy to the World” or some other carol. The best place to find the joy we speak of is the Bible. Psalm 16:11 states, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Luke 2:10 says, “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.” If we follow along with the rest of Luke, we hear about the birth of Jesus - this of course is the absolute joy.
Joy is more than pleasure in a thing or food, it is an absolute state of being that can only be found in God, for He is the one who makes our joy complete.
Joy leads to peace. Jesus teaches us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Psalm 4:8 states, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
What kind of peace do you seek? Many can seek the peace that is temporary. This peace might be a favorite vacation spot or a favorite time in your life; it will give you some joy, but cannot last forever. The joy and peace that we seek can only come from God. This is a joy and peace that is everlasting or eternal, it is absolutely complete and perfect.
Joy and peace will lead us to love. This is a love that is pure, a love we hear, and are promised by God. Here is where, as is said in Galatians 4:4, "the fullness of time has come," and God sent to us what we needed this holiday season. God is a God who sustains His creation. Who cares for those who He calls His own. The Old Testament and New Testament are full of reference and illustrations of God caring for His people, sending and giving joy, peace and love. Moving into 2020, let us know God’s love and share that joy, peace and love with others.
I challenge you all to count your blessings, and seek the joy, peace, and love where it may always be found.