As Christmas draws near the word that comes to most people's mind is Joy. Whether it's an ad for a new product that will bring bliss or a hope that this year will finally be the year that true joy comes flooding into your life and relationships, it seems to be the word that is echoed through this season. As a Christian I would say, "yes and amen!" This is the time we celebrate that King Jesus wrapped himself in human flesh and came to save his people. On top of that he is coming a second time to rescue his bride and bring us into our Master's Joy.
The problem though is that every year majority of the people that thought the holiday season was going to bring joy end up depressed and let down. Depression is a word that many people feel uncomfortable talking about but is something that is very prevalent in our world. We understand that without Christ there will never be true, enduring joy but only depression and sadness. As the puritans said, "No man can have peace without his pardon." So billions of people today have never heard, understood, or believed upon the good news that we remember this holiday season. They have never experienced the promise that, "Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows," and "he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed." What joy they miss out on because they can't see and savor our Sorrow Bearer like we do!
We should remember this Christmas season that we have the gift of the good news of Jesus and that we are called to give that gift to all people. But how do we do that? Especially when many of us professing Christians tend to have depression of our own? D.Martyn Lloyd-Jones said,
"Christian people too often seem to be perpetually in the doldrums and too often give this appearance of unhappiness and of a lack of freedom and lack of joy. There is no question at all but that this is the main reason why large numbers of people have ceased to be interested in Christianity."
So I ask one more time, how do we share the good news of Jesus this season?I have two ways.
1. Be Honest. What I am trying to say is be honest about your lack of joy. If you try to share the gospel with someone and you don't genuinely have that joy that is "inexpressible and filled with glory," (1Peter 1:8), it's impossible to be convincing. However, when we are honest and confess our unbelief to God, he is always faithful to help us because, "he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." He will graciously fill our hearts with belief in his gospel and a solid trust in him.
2. Let Your Joy Overflow. When we believe the gospel and enjoy our Savior we will naturally share the gospel. When we are walking in the truth that God loves us it would be impossible to not speak about what he has done and show that same love to others. So let your joy in Christ overflow to those in your family, work place, and world.
Our prayer at the Source Ministries this Christmas is that all depression would cease! We pray that Christians all around the world would penetrate the darkness by letting their joy and hope overflow to non-believers and the nations. "Let the nations be glad and sing for joy." (Psalm 67:4). Let's thank our Father for the gift of his precious Son.