Good News and Great Joy

Good News and Great Joy

Mike EvansBy Mike Evans4 Minutes

It had been just an ordinary day for the shepherds watching over their flocks near Bethlehem. But suddenly they received a message that would change their lives forever.

An 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 that will cause great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:9-10 NIV).

The silent, pitch-black night was suddenly interrupted by brilliant light and a loud angelic proclamation. The frightened shepherds were assured by the angel that his message was one of good news that will cause great joy.”

My friend, even if you’re going through a dark night right now, when God has seemed silent, everything can change in a moment of time. The breakthrough may not be as dramatic as the shepherds experienced, but the message will be the same: good news and great joy!

Today Could Be Your Day

The shepherds were awakened by a quite extraordinary message: Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (v. 11). Hundreds of years before, God’s people had been promised that one day their Savior and Messiah would come. They waited and waited, until many had given up hope.

Could it be that the angel’s message was true? After waiting so long, could “Today” be the day when the prophecies would be fulfilled and the Savior would come?

There’s a powerful lesson here for each of us. God has made many wonderful promises to us in His Word, yet sometimes we can get weary in waiting for our breakthroughs. At such times, we must remember the shepherds. Little did they know that “Today” would be the day when everything would change, as light pierced the darkness with hope and favor.

A Personal Encounter

When the angels told them about the newborn King, the shepherds could have just taken their word for it. But they concluded that they needed to act upon what they had heard: Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about” (v. 15). They already had heard the news, but now they wanted to also “SEE this thing.” The angels had been telling the truth, of course, and the shepherds discovered that Jesus was “just as they had been told” (v. 20).

Many people today have heard the message of Christ and His favor, but they’ve never taken the next step—finding out for themselves whether it’s true. Their faith is secondhand, based on hearsay instead of firsthand experience. No wonder they experience so little of the favor of God.

Pause and ask yourself whether your relationship with God is based on personal experience or just secondhand truths you’ve read in books or heard from preachers or friends. Go to “Bethlehem” and see for yourself what God has done.

Once you know the Savior, you will want to make Him known to others. The more you see Him, the more you will want to show Him to others. The more you experience His life-changing favor, the more you will want share His grace and goodness with the people around you.

Give Him thanks this Christmas! He left the grandeur of Heaven to become the Son of Man, so that you might become a child of God and ultimately have a home in Heaven for all eternity.