Joy to the World

Genesis 21:1-3

And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him--whom Sarah bore to him--Isaac.

Joy to the World

Someone asked Joseph Haydn, the famous composer, why his music was so cheerful. He replied, "I cannot make it otherwise. When I think upon God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap from my pen!"

This must have been the way that Abraham and Sarah felt. After Abraham waited 100 years and Sarah reached the matronly age of 90, God gave them a son. Joy surely leapt and danced in their hearts. In fact, they named their son Isaac, which means "laughter." Unlike the laughter of unbelief they had engaged in earlier (Gen. 17:17, 18:12), this laughter percolated through a holy wonder at the miracle in their life. It was a laughter of such unalloyed joy that all who heard it laughed with them (21:6).

The joy that began with the birth of Isaac, however, reached its crescendo in the birth of Jesus. When the angels announced their heavenly message, they proclaimed, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people" (Luke 2:10, emphasis mine). Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11).

When was the last time you laughed for the sheer joy of your salvation? People are not attracted to somber doctrines. There is no persuasive power in a gloomy and morbid religion. Let the world see your joy and you won't be able to keep them away.

To be filled with God is to be filled with joy.

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