Another week passes and brings us closer to the celebration of Christ’s arrival on Earth.
It’s Christmas time, I have everything I could ever need or want, my family and friends are around me, and yet my heart sinks. My emotions drop down to the floor because for some reason they tend to prefer to contrast from reality rather than behave themselves. I am a fallen person who emotes imperfectly, and I know I’m not alone in this.
And yet, beyond any feeling, there is a steady stream of joy that flows from Immanuel, God with us.
No physical reaction, no mental process, no emotional change, joy is more of a security in Christ’s goodness. Unchanging goodness provides for unwavering joy, so who else can I turn to in a world of universally constant change other than the One who never changes.
Christ is the only source of joy, everything else is tainted by sin. Everything from the prettiest sunset to the purest laugh, it’s all fallen. Our Savior though, he reigns sinlessly and righteously, worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. The Creator God of heaven and Earth takes His unchanging perfection and freely gives of Himself because of His grace alone, not because of anything you or I could ever do. How does He do this?
Immanuel, God with us. The most comforting truth I know.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:23 NIV).
His presence with us, His payment for our sins, His resurrection to new life, joy to the world indeed! If you’re like me, if your fallen emotions at times sink lower and lower no matter what reality may look like, know that you are not a “bad Christian” because you’re not smiling and laughing and happy all the time. You’re not doing anything wrong just by having these uncontrollable emotions, but you must respond rightly.
Don’t allow the ebbs and flows of feelings to be your foundation. Decide that joy, the constant security we have in the goodness of our Savior, will be your hope and stay. Giving feelings too much power, allowing them to rule in your heart and mind, that’s what’s not right. Place Christ on the throne, allowing Him to reign from this day on no matter what the temporary emotions are. Our Immanuel, God with us, is here.