THE ARRIVAL III - JOY
ISAIAH 35:1-10 Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. 2 Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. 3 With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. 4 Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” 5 And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. 6 The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. 7 The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. 8 And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. 9 Lions will not lurk along its course, nor any other ferocious beasts. There will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will walk on it. 10 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
WE KNOW THE REAL JOY OF XMAS ISN’T THE PRESENTS, BUT THE PRESENCE OF THE FAMILY
HAPPINESS IS BASED ON WHAT HAPPENS
JOY COMES FROM PRESENCE
Psalm 146:5 Joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God.
ISAIAH 35 FORETELLS THE JOY UPON CHRIST’S ARRIVAL
GLADNESS. NEW GROWTH IN BARREN PLACES. STRENGTH TO THE TIRED, AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE WEAK. JUSTICE, HEALING AND PROVISION. ACCESS, PROTECTION AND REDEMPTION.
THAT JOY IS NOW AVAILABLE IN OUR HEARTS BECAUSE OF HIS BIRTH
AND CAUSES US TO LOOK FORWARD TO HIS FINAL RETURN
"The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth -- the very thing the whole story has been about." -- C.S. Lewis
JOHN 8:12 JESUS IS LIGHT
LIGHT BRINGS JOY
LIGHT BRINGS HEALTH
LIGHT BRINGS WARMTH
LIGHT BRINGS DIRECTION
PSALM 119:105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
WHEN JESUS IS REVEALED IN OUR HEARTS WE CAN SING WITH JOY LIKE MARY IN LUKE 1
LUKE 1:46-55 46 Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. 50 He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. 51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. 52 He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. 54 He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. 55 For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”
Her willingness to REJOICE or FIND JOY in this complicated situation is why we see the angel speak of her in LUKE 1:28 “highly favored”
YOUR PAST IS PREPARATION FOR YOUR PURPOSE
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
IT’S THE PRESENCE OF JESUS IN YOUR LIFE, THE ADVENT, THE ARRIVAL
THAT SHINES THROUGH THE COMPLICATION AND TESTIFIES OF THE JOY THAT IS AVAILABLE FOR THOSE FOUND IN CHRIST