1. Do you ever get grumpy when you're sick?
2. Ever been sick at Christmas?
I spent this Christmas sick with a cold. Ick. You know, headaches, sneezing, coughing. Everyone in the house runs for cover. They eye you like you're "typhoid Mary" when you dare to expel germs from your body. And you think about things like this: every reaction to a cold ---coughing and sneezing and blowing your nose are all ways of EXPELLING germs from your body! Far from your body. Good grief! Not a good way to make friends.
But you know what? I spent a very joyous Christmas, even though I wasn't feeling well. I'm the type to get grumpy (off and on) when I'm sick. But this year, I kept my thoughts reigned in. I got into the Word of God often, sitting quietly in my room during downtimes so I could absorb a nugget to chew on while we spent family time together.
And I had joy.
Jesus was (and is) the Man of Joy. A local author, Sherwood Wirt, wrote a book called Jesus, Man of Joy. It's a great read and one Bruce Marchiano used in his portrayal of Jesus in Visual Bible's Matthew series. Here's the verse which confirms Jesus' joy:
"You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions." (Psalm 45:7, NKJV)
The New Testament verse in Hebrews 1:9 echoes that truth:
"You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions." (Hebrews 1:9, NKJV)This oil of gladness, what a beautiful concept. Jesus walked in joy. Yes, the Bible also calls Him the Suffering Servant (see Isaiah 53) and the Man of sorrows. But since the Bible says he's anointed with the oil of gladness, we must not overlook His joy. I believe the Isaiah 53 verses were specifically focused on His suffering. He bore all of humanity's sins and of course sorrows. From Gethsemane to the cross, I believe Jesus lived the verses of Isaiah 53:1-10 as the Man of Sorrows.
For the most part, I believe He walked in joy!
“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:2, NKJV)
Joy motivated Him through the cross. You are His joy:
"The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17, NKJV)
It may be difficult for us to choose joy in our lives, but if we keep a tight reign on our thoughts and look to Jesus, He will give us joy. It's a joyous thing to watch Him work in your life. I love how He used the Word while we were away for Christmas to speak directly to me.
His example is joy. To be conformed to His image is to walk in joy.