[Just for You]

If You Want to Be Happy at Christmas (and always)

"Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!" many people call out to friends with a smile and a wave of the hand, wishing them the best during the holiday season. And we feel good when we wish others well.

Yet at the same time, our smiles and good cheer may cover up a sense of despair with problems we face, sorrow for the loss of a loved one, bitterness toward God and others for the disappointments and unanswered questions of life.

Sometimes, the cheerfulness with which others greet us only deepens our sense of unhappiness. Is it possible to be a happy, cheerful person, not only at Christmas, but even in the hard times of life?

Friend, believe it or not, God wants us to be a joyful people. Jesus said, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full" (John 15:11).

Happiness and joy are not the same. Happiness depends on the happenings of life being good and pleasant for us. It is fleeting. Joy, however, is supernatural. It is a sense of well-being that results when I know I am pleasing God, whether life's happenings are pleasant or not.

Joy is not seasonal. We can experience as much joy the day after Christmas as we do Christmas Day (or any other holiday). How?

Let's remember, joy does not come from things: lovely gifts, delicious food, drinks, free time, exciting games, or beautiful decorations. Rather, Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). If you want joy at Christmas, concentrate on giving rather than on receiving.

But perhaps you say, "If only you knew the terrible difficulties I am going through." No, I do not know your troubles, but God does. I do know that no matter how great our difficulties, God has showered many blessings upon us. Joy comes as you "count your many blessings, name them one by one."

I recall one boyhood Christmas when my family was too poor to buy gifts for each other. So we cut pictures out of the catalog of what we wanted to give each other--and created a precious memory! We had each other and a wonderful time. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5).

If we want joy at Christmas, we must remember what Christmas is all about. We must celebrate the birth of the King who came to give us joy as a continuing experience even in a broken world with so much suffering. He was born to take away our sin and to make us friends and children of the Creator, our loving Heavenly Father.

This joy, His joy, is His gift to us at Christmas and all the year through. "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing" in Jesus Christ (Romans 15:13).

When the Lord Jesus comes to live and reign in our hearts, He gives us His joy. Won't you receive Him--now?

A Formula for Joy

Jesus, in His inaugural address as King, gives His followers a formula for joy, a message that has never been equalled. Have you read it? It is found in Matthew 5.

What is His formula?

"Blessed are the poor in spirit," those who recognize their needs, both spiritual and material, and who call out to God for His supply.

"Blessed are they that mourn," those who feel deep sorrow for their sin and for the appalling results of sin in our world.

"Blessed are the meek," those who will submit to God and yield the control of their lives fully to Him.

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness." Do you earnestly desire to think, to say, and to do what is right on all occasions?

"Blessed are the merciful." Have you learned to be kind to the weak, the young, the needy, and to forgive those who hurt you?

"Blessed are the pure in heart," those who put away from their lives anything impure or immoral, anything that displeases God.

"Blessed are the peacemakers." Are you willing to take the first step to reconcile differences and to forgive? Will you let go of that grudge, that bitterness that is rotting your soul and destroying your body?

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness," for doing what is right even when they must suffer.

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." There is joy for the one who openly takes his stand for Jesus Christ, no matter what others say and do. Have you taken that stand for Christ, or have you succumbed to craven compromise?

"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

There it is. Jesus' formula for joy. Are you experiencing His joy?

He came to give you joy. He wants you to "Have a joy-filled Christmas and New Year!"

If you want to receive God's Gift

The gift:

"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten SON" (John 3:16.

"He that hath the SON hath LIFE; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12).

"He that spared not his own SON, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us ALL THINGS" (Romans 8:32)?

The conditions:

"He that BELIEVETH on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).

"He that HEARETH MY WORD, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).

"If any man will come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY, and FOLLOW ME" (Luke 9:23).

Receiving Christ:

To receive Christ, God's Son, as your Lord and Saviour, renounce yourself and your own ways, believe in Jesus as your personal Saviour, and begin to follow Him. You will want to join a group of fellow believers--a group that believes and practices what the Bible says.

"Happiness depends on happenings that come and go; joy comes from Jesus who lives forever."


© Copyright, Christian Light Publications

You may request printed copies of this tract from Christian Light Publications.

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