As far as the dictionary is concerned glad and happy are just different sides of the same coin. I may be taking unwarranted liberty, but to me one who is happy is often internally content while to be glad seems to require an action that deliberately shows itself forth and is seen in a different light. If you had been one of the shepherds simply tending to the needs of the sheep and content with your efforts would you have jumped up in excitement and set out on a long journey to see for yourself this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us (Luke 2:15).
In this world today are you content and willing to simply withdraw and be quietly happy or are you so filled with emotion that you have to get up off the couch and share with someone the gladness that is overflowing from your heart? No matter the world’s situation we have a Saviour that can turn our world upside down; a joy that supersedes any and all things that might happen in this world that has become complacent, feeling like there is nothing that can be done. I believe there are many of us who want what we were created for, not what the world has made us to be. Can we, as individuals, stir up the pot that has grown cold and unattractive?
We may not be sure, but there is no point in hesitating at this time in our world. I’m sure you remember the words – Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you desire, as I do, to see things turn around, especially in the nation that we both love and that has been so good to us, then maybe we should seriously consider putting our hand to the plow. There were those in Jesus’ day who ignored their opportunity, seeing only what they wanted to see. However, there were also those whose eyes could see the possibilities and longed for a better life for those they loved even at the cost of their own.
We, as human beings, will never be able to truly understand what joy at its most magnificent is like. We can only try to imagine how Mary felt as she spoke to her relative, Elizabeth saying – My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed (Luke 1:46-48). If we tried to measure that gladness today, I think we would find it totally off the scales.
There are many who are yearning in the deepest parts of their hearts for something more. Where are you standing; what is it you want for yourself and those you love? Paul tells us in the book of Colossians to – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (3:16).
While things have changed enormously in today’s world there are still those who can see clearly and who are willing to do and give all that they have because they know we have a Heavenly Father who has not forsaken His children and who longs for us to see and understand what He has always meant for us to be. The truth is that we should all be exceedingly glad that today in the midst of the trials and tribulations of this world we have the assurance that one day we will enjoy not only peace but joy beyond our expectations.
Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, lived not only to teach us but to show us that there is so much more to this life than we can imagine.
Joyful, joyful we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee
Opening to the sun above.