God wants to give you a gift!
No one else can give it.
No other method can produce it.
Only the Lord can fill you with it.
It is a gift that surpasses times, seasons, and circumstances.
Nothing can affect it unless you allow it to.
No one can take it from you or remove it from your life.
The world is filled with bad news.
On every hand we hear the bad…but you need to remember that God the Heavenly Father SENT GOOD NEWS into the world!
Listen to the Christmas announcement…
Luke 2:8-14 NKJV
 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Born in a manger in the city of Bethlehem.
Born to die so that we might have salvation and eternal life, but also in the middle of it all…the Lord wants to give us JOY!
Joy is the GIFT!
The Lord continues to impress upon me that Joy is the gift!
Here’s the Word from the Lord:
“I long to bring joy to my people! The joy of my presence and the joy of my spirit has not gone away or diminished. I will fill you with joy. I will fill you with peace. I will fill you with love. But my joy makes you strong, and my joy makes you able.”
The announcement of the the birth of the Lord was with JOY and it is that same joy that God wants to give into your life.
The announcement of Jesus’ birth is the greatest announcement in history, because it meant that CHANGE was coming!
• Broken down systems were about to change.
• The path to God was about to change.
• The ability to be in God’s presence was about to change.
Jesus’ birth meant change had come.
That same change is STILL HERE!
It is present with us NOW!
Not that all the circumstances are gone, but NO MORE bowing down to them!
Joy that sustains.
Joy that fills.
Joy that revives.
Joy that stays.
Joy that battles for you.
Joy that overcomes.
This fruit of the Holy Spirit is much more of a strength for battle than we have given it credit for.
The Bible says…
Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
JOY is the second fruit mentioned. That is the placement and power of its position.
God IS love.
God GIVES joy!
Not just the “fruit” Joy, but the fruit produced in our lives because of the joy in us. It is the fruit Joy is creating!
JOY IS OUR WEAPON!
JOY IS OUR STRENGTH!
Joy fights against the pull of the world to make us sad, or discouraged!
When battles come against us, JOY FIGHTS BACK!
And maybe you don’t feel all the joy that you want to feel, but please understand, Joy can be accessed at any time.
Joy comes from the PRESENCE OF THE LORD!
• When you press through and break through to his presence.
• When your prayer becomes MORE than a statement.
• When your prayer becomes the cry of your heart that breaks through the barrier.
Psalm 16:7-11 NKJV
 I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.  I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.  Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.  For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.  You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Joy can be accessed!
It is through getting into the Lord’s presence.
Now…I want to switch gears a little.
Why? Because the reason for Jesus’ birth was Jesus’ death.
Jesus was born to die.
The lamb for our sins.
Just as the angels announced Jesus’ birth, in the same vein, Jesus prayed for US before his death, and the Lord has led me back to this passage all week long for today.
It’s not necessarily a Christmas passage… but in it Jesus gives us, and prays for us to have, the great gift of joy!
John 17:1-3 NKJV
 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,  as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.  And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
John 17:8-13 NKJV
 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.  “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.  And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.  Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.  But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
Jesus WANTS to FULFILL his JOY in our life.
His priestly prayer, OVER US, has two great themes…unity and JOY!
I’m telling you, the Lord is pushing and pressing in this present day hour to fill HIS PEOPLE with joy.
In the world there is trouble, problems, issues, pain, sickness, death, hurt, and unforgiving spirits…but IN JESUS…there is JOY.
When you are a child of God, you can know that if you’ll only get FULLY into his presence, the unrelenting JOY of the Lord will fill your heart!
No matter what is surrounding you this Christmas, JOY CAN FILL YOU!
What word does Jesus speak?
What does it mean?
Not just to be accomplished in us, but to BE FILLED WITH.
Usually the word fulfilled means that you have accomplished something, but that is not the meaning here.
It means to be FILLED WITH!
The word joy, literally means the joy of the Holy Ghost imparted to believers who are under his influence.
It is the joy of faith arising from the good news of the gospel that has penetrated our life.
This joy contains the idea of fruition, or fruitfulness, meaning something that produces seeds!
God‘s joy won’t just remain inside of you, but it will fill you to the full, and then pour out of you as seeds in your life!
So many people are dependent on what they see, and what they hear, but we need to access and depend on what Jesus puts inside of us!
Joy is producing seeds!
Seeds that will grown in your surroundings…your family, your health, your prayers, your circumstances.
Joy will grow in places that surround your life because joy is flowing out of YOU and implanting itself all around you!
Why? Because of the meaning of this word…FULFILL.
(CWSB Dictionary) Figuratively, to fill, supply abundantly with something, impart richly, imbue with…
But that’s not all, because it also means…TO CRAM.
CRAM, is literally the word commentary and dictionary concordances use for this.
So how does the Lord want our life to be?
Literally CRAMMED with joy.
The gift of Christmas is that Jesus came into the earth, not only to save me for eternity, but also to Fill Me, to cram me full of his own joy…the joy of the Father that fills HIS HEART, so that I might live my life in a way that overflows with joy, with gladness of heart, with rejoicing, no matter what my circumstance may be at the moment.
We must understand…this is the essence of Christianity!
The Bible says…
Romans 14:17-18 NKJV
 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Joy is a HALLMARK of the Lord’s KINGDOM!
I would say, if believers are distinguished by the love of God that is in their heart, that we are also distinguished by the fact that we have joy when there is no discernible reason for joy in the midst of our circumstance.
John 15:9-11 NKJV
 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Now I want to finish by again taking notice of what happened when Jesus was born…
Luke 2:10-15 NKJV
 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”  So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
The Lord is also INVITING US to come and see what he has done and what he can do.
What he has done is to PROVIDE A WAY FOR ETERNAL LIFE.
What he CAN DO is take those empty spaces in your life, those spaces filled with hurt and misunderstandings, and he can fill them full of joy so that you are no longer wandering as the prodigal son or daughter, but that you are…FILLED WITH JOY, real joy.
Not a joy that you are trying to make for yourself and piecing together out of the scraps of life…but real joy.
God will fill you with peace, real peace.
Not the peace you are trying to create for yourself by following the ideas the world puts out there.
To be honest, you realize quickly that the peace the world promises only leads to worry, stress, and the load of shame you carry. But Jesus Gives REAL PEACE.
Jesus wants you to be…
Filled with LIFE, real life.
Not some fake version of life that will unravel with the slightest wind of problems or issues, but life that lasts!
Pray and decree with me…
I take authority over every demonic influence that is trying to drown out the Gospel and the word of truth in my heart.
I release the kingdom of God to save, deliver, and break the chains off of me.
I release the kingdom of God to bring righteousness, peace, and joy to my life…right now!
In Jesus’ name.