Comfort and Joy

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Comfort and Joy — those two words summarize the gospel message very well. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus extends this invitation:

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

This is an invitation to all of us who want to leave behind the burdens of the world and find comfort in His arms. Jesus goes on in the the following verses to talk about how He is Lord of the Sabbath, the day of rest from this world’s labors. He offers comfort that gives us refuge and rest from this world and its concerns.

In John 15:11, when Jesus is telling His followers of the love He has for them and that they should have for each other, He says:

I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you.

How many times can we read of Christ’s followers rejoicing? They rejoice in worship. They rejoice in prison. They rejoice in persecution. They rejoice in their hope. Their lives are joyful because they carry Christ’s joy and love inside them.

Too often, we trade Christ’s comfort and joy for burdens and heartache. We dwell on things that take away our peace. We take in influences that squander joy, and then we might go and do the same to others. Think of how confrontational and impatient we can become while waiting in lines or stuck in shopping traffic this time of year. Think of how you treated the last cashier to ring your order up incorrectly.

We proclaim to serve a risen Savior, a Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, the Lamb of God. Every day we follow Him should bring us comfort and joy, and we should then spread that everywhere we go. What joy it should be to know that we have a home prepared with our Savior! What comfort we should be able to take in the fact that the burdens of this life are temporary and that He came to bear the weight of our transgressions! How can we let anything in this world get us down when we keep those things in our thoughts?

These two qualities are then rooted in love — love for our Savior, love for the world, love for each other, and the confidence we have of God’s love for us. It’s a way we should be set apart form the world. During the holiday season and throughout the year, we should bear tidings of comfort and joy.

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