Written by: Tim Wood

And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:21-23).

The angel told Joseph that Jesus would be “God with us.”  That’s the joy of Christmas.  Michael Card wrote, The implications of the name 'Immanuel' are both comforting and unsettling. Comforting, because He has come to share the danger as well as the drudgery of our everyday lives. He desires to weep with us and to wipe away our tears. And what seems most bizarre, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, longs to share in and to be the source of the laughter and the joy we all too rarely know."

David wrote in Psalm 21:1, “O Lord the king rejoices in your strength. How great is the joy in the victories you give.”  And then in verse 6 he writes, “Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.”  How true!  The presence of God in our life brings joy, strength and victory.   Most of us turn to God in moments of sorrow, struggle, fear and doubt. And we should. But as we look to the Lord, we should know that real joy comes from Him. His presence is joy. “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence” (Psalm 16:11).  The joy of the Lord is inner joy. It’s soul joy. It’s settled joy. Our world sometimes crashes in around us, but the presence of the Lord is real joy.

God is with us every day, all the time, in every circumstance. The Son of God longs to be the source of laughter and joy in your life. Let Him.  The joy of Christmas is God is with me.