When an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds in the field, he gave them good news of great joy for all people: The long-awaited Savior was born! Then the angel was suddenly “joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God” (Luke 2:13, NLT).
The good news they proclaimed that day had to do with much more than Jesus’ birth. It anticipated His sinless life, which qualified Him to be God’s sacrificial lamb. It looked ahead to His crucifixion on our behalf and His resurrection, which signaled the Father’s acceptance of Christ’s payment for our sins. The announcement also encompassed the idea of His ascension into heaven (Psalm 110:1). And it envisioned the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit would indwell believers (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17), as well as the time Jesus would return as King. The angels rejoiced because the day of salvation was here (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Jesus spoke about spiritual joy because He wanted His followers to experience the deep satisfaction that derives from a relationship with God. Such divine contentment is not dependent upon outward circumstances but overflows from the Spirit’s presence. Earthly happiness is externally produced and temporary. Divine joy is internally generated through the work of the Holy Spirit.
The angels in heaven rejoiced at the announcement of Jesus’ birth, and the shepherds praised God. Have you thanked the Lord today for your salvation? Are you experiencing the divine joy that overflows from a Spirit-filled life?
Taken from "Good News of Great Joy " by In Touch Ministries (used by permission).