December 13:  Joy to the World

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1 Peter 1:6-9
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,  so that the proof of your faith,  being  more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,  obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of  your souls.

Joy is deep satisfaction in the will of God, and this must be coupled with recognizing the reality that God’s will is everywhere and in everything.  

dec 13Christmas should not be treated by us as the “denial season.” One of the reasons why so many families have so many tangles and scenes during the “holidays” is that everybody expects sentimentalism to fix everything magically.  But Christmas is not “trouble-free” season. We want scrooges and grinches in our lives to be transformed by gentle snow fall, silver bells, beautifully arranged evergreens, hot cider, and carols beings sung in the middle distance.  

The turning of seasons makes no one better.  The gentle fall of snow removes no sin.  The hanging of decorations only makes a living room full of sin sadder.  As Jesus once put it, “Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? (Mt. 23:17).  Which is more important the hat or the cattle? The foam or the beer? The gift or the altar?  The gold paper stamp on the Christmas card or the gold coin of your faith? If our hearts are decorated with the refined gold of a true faith, we may therefore decorate everything else. If they are not, then what’s the point?  Joy is fundamentally realistic—which is why unbelief thinks of it as insane.  

Excerpt taken from God Rest Ye Merry by Douglas Wilson  (Pg 97-100)

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