About a year ago I was shopping for some new jeans in a local department store. I had tried on several pairs, but needed a different size. So, I quickly ran out of the dressing room – still wearing one of the pair of jeans and a potential blouse – to find what I needed on the rack. Moments later I popped back into the dressing room only to find it had been cleared out. Not only the clothes I had been trying on, but also my own clothes I had worn into the store. Thankfully I had at least taken my purse with me.

Just as I was trying to determine my next move my son called to say he needed to be picked up from football practice. I looked pretty silly running around the store frantically trying to locate my clothes while tags bounced from my borrowed apparel. I poured out my story to a clerk who unsuccessfully tried to locate the dressing room attendant. Then she called the manager. After hearing my predicament the manager went off in search of the dressing room attendant. But I was out of time. Rather annoyed I began my own search for my clothes. Five minutes later I found them hanging on a display rack like they were for sale.

It’s strange, but having your clothes stolen really takes the fun out of shopping. This situation ruined a usually pleasurable experience for a while. I discovered that the quality of my shopping experience depends on the circumstances, like whether or not I can keep up with my clothes. Okay for shopping. Unfortunately, I also sometimes allow my circumstances to steal away the joy God says is mine.

Christmas is supposed to be a season of joy. We sing about it. The word “joy” is plastered all over our cards and wrapping paper. But do you feel joyful? Are you dealing with difficult circumstances right now that seem to be robbing you of joy? Times are tough. Many people are dealing with job loss, financial difficulties, health issues, and more.

The wonderful news is that true joy is not based on our circumstances. Real joy is eternal because it’s found in the person of Jesus Christ. The angels announced it to the shepherds on that first Christmas.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. And angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:8-14, NIV

Are you missing out on the joy God offers in Jesus Christ? Don’t let another joyless Christmas pass. Meet the joy maker. Get to know Jesus. I’d love to hear your experience. Do you believe that true, lasting joy can be found in Jesus regardless of your circumstances?

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