This post appeared originally (I have included a few new comments) December 2017 as Good Tidings of Great Joy. Covid existed only in our future but we didn’t know it. The unrest and division of our country has grown over the three years. Many struggle to see a glimpse of happiness. Yet, there is joy in the midst of darkness. There is joy in the midst of suffering. There are good tidings of great joy for all who know where to look.
I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people…”
Our world is inundated with reports of murders, terrorism, threats of wars, plagues and natural disasters. And many suffer personal tragedies that strike in a moment. Is it any wonder the masses suffer from depression mixed with intermittent spurts of fleeting happiness? The news media offers a few nibbles of good news at the end of the broadcast, like this will give hope?
When Luke penned, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the announcement of good tidings, his world did not differ from the one we live in today. They suffered it all, under different names, the same as we do. So, what is it that brings great joy when the world around us is crumbling? Is it really for all people?
“…behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy…” Angels filled the sky proclaiming the good news to a handful of Jewish shepherds on a hillside. God would fulfill his covenant with His people.
“O Zion, that bringest good tidings…
O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings,
- lift up thy voice with strength:
- lift it up, be not afraid, say…Behold your God!—-
- born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord—
- He shall feed his flock like a shepherd:
- he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
- and carry them in his bosom,
- and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isa. 40:9; Luke 2:11; Isa. 40:11).
Christian people don’t be afraid to declare our God – for a Savior has been born to us. All this bad stuff around us has lost the war but isn’t ready to give up the battle. Death has been defeated – sins power stripped. We have reason to rejoice. We have a gentle Shepherd leading us through these times. Rejoice.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him
- that bringeth good tidings,
- that publisheth peace:
- that bringeth good tidings of good,
- that publisheth salvation – and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
- for he shall save his people from their sins –
- that sayeth unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! –
- And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
- and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”(Isa. 52:7; Matt. 1:21; Isa. 52:7; Luke 1:33).
Jesus is our peace, our salvation. Our God reigns forever. Rejoice.
The above scriptures speak to the lost sheep of Israel, a nation waiting for Messiah. But the promise comes through Abraham –
“…which shall be to all people…”
- “…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 12:3.
- “For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
- Which thou hast prepared before the face of all the people.
- A light to lighten the gentiles,
- and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:30-32).
“For God so loved the world
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
“…God our Savior;
Who will have all men to be saved,
and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:
for the same Lord over all
is rich unto all
that call upon him.”
There is only one condition I see in these verses: “…for the same Lord over all is rich unto
all that call upon him.”
“For whosoever shall call
upon the name of the Lord
shall be saved.”
Whosoever includes all who will. For those who have called, we know the joy of His salvation. Walk with beautiful feet. We have an everlasting sure hope. Share it with the hopeless. So all may rejoice.
If you do not know the joy of His salvation, make Jesus the one gift you receive this Christmas season.
Praying for the joy of the Lord to reign in each heart. May we remember no trial, sickness, nor death can separate us from the joy of knowing You love us and are with us through it all.
Where does your hope rest?