It’s about this point we begin dreading the “Christmas blues.”

Advent 2013 Joy

We know they’re coming.  Christmas, after all, isn’t all that far away and no matter what we do, there’s going to be a letdown on the evening of December 25.  And many people have written about why we feel this post-project blues so I won’t go into why.

I’m a stereotypical “problem-solving guy.”  We know the problem exists but what are we going to do about it.  After all, Psalm 32:11 instructs:

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!

 

This is a simple statement, right?  There’s no doubting what David (the author) is telling us.  What we’re missing is the context.  The context of Psalm 32 is that of understanding where our joy comes from.  But be warned: it might surprise you.

Look at Psalm 32:1-2:

Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.

You seeing it—where joy comes from?  It’s not a decision we make.  It’s not because things are going well.  It’s not because we love the red, green, silver, and lights.  Joy is not packaged or manipulated.  It’s not pursued or “mustered up”.

Joy, properly understood from the Bible’s perspective, is not an emotion at all; it’s the state of being forgiven.

Joyful is what we are when we are “upright in heart.”  We are filled to the rim with joy when we remember that we are blessed because our “transgressions are forgiven” and our “sins are covered.”  And they are not covered because of our action, but because of God’s grace (verse 5b).

This is why we can sing joyful songs because “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).  Even when we’re not happy, the Lord surrounds us with songs of deliverance.  We are delivered from our captivity of sin and understand true freedom.

No wonder our Lord Jesus told the disciples, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).

Our temporary circumstances do not change the eternal reality—and some of the sweetest words on earth: we are forgiven and are His.

Rejoice!