The world not only rejects Christ, it promotes rejection of Christ. It constantly implies that those who turn from its rewards to serve Christ will be unhappy – that earthly success and glory are desirable and that heavenly or spiritual rewards are impractical and irrelevant. This, however, is a lie. The truth is that it is impossible to serve Christ without enjoying Him…immensely!
Christ is our ever-present help in time of need. He is our refuge and our resource, our beginning and our end. He is our constant presence to cheer and to guide. He is the permanent antidote to any loneliness we feel in the world. He richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Who could not be happy with such a God?
To receive this joy, you must not seek to add Christ to your life. Rather you should seek to replace your life with Christ. That is, Christ becomes your life – the central theme animating all your thoughts and actions. For this reason He said that if you seek to save your life, you’ll lose it; but if you lose your life for His sake, then you’ll find it. This simply means relinquishing the starring role in your life and becoming a supporting character. We do not “lose out” by this exchange of parts. On the contrary, God’s great love and power assure that our secondary status brings to us all the things we were hoping for in the primary role: love, peace, joy, well-being, and more.
By wrapping ourselves up in the life of Jesus Christ, fulfilling His will instead of our own, we actually inherit His joy. If we keep His commands, then He lets us feel the joy He has over that obedience. The joy of God thus becomes the lifting of our own hearts. The son may make a good play on the sports field, and may feel joy because of it. However, when he hears the voice of His father saying, “Atta, boy!” then he forgets his own joy and grasps his father’s – because the joy of his father means even more to him.
To serve Christ means also to receive from His hand…because what master does not feed his own servants? And if his servants are his children, how much more shall he be sure to feed them! When we as “little ones” serve “the Greatest One,” all our needs shall be met. We take joy in life because there is no day or hour that we cannot serve Him. Neither is there a day or hour when He cannot provide for us. Therefore, let us learn to be content in all circumstances, for when we are weak then we are strong!
Almost 300 years ago, the great hymn writer Isaac Watts penned these words which describe the joy that is ours as we receive the King: “Joy to the world, the Lord is come; let earth receive her King!” To apply them solely to the Christmas season and the remembrance of our Lord’s infancy on earth is to miss the larger and far more important point: Christ rules and reigns today! Rejoice in Him constantly; and again I say, rejoice!