Christmas has given to all mankind the possibility of experiencing heaven’s joy while living on earth. When Jesus came to earth, He paved the way for joy straight into your heart!
One of the most important aspects of Christmas for a believer is to respond to the joy of His presence. This is especially important if you are going through a circumstantial challenge or disappointment. Don’t expect the festivities to relieve the pain - only His presence has the power to do that for you!
Nearly 800 years before the birth of Jesus, the Prophet Isaiah described exactly what the Messiah would do when He came. “Surely our griefs He Himself bore and our sorrows He carried.” (Isaiah 53:4) Not only did Jesus come to take your sins to the cross, but He also came to relieve you of everything in life that has caused you to sorrow and grieve. Jesus took those emotions and events to the cross and died for them so that you could live in joy!
John, yet in his mother’s womb, jumped for joy when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, walked into the room. John, although unborn, responded the joy that is found in the presence of Jesus. “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.” (Luke 1:44) The word for “leaped” in this verse is the Greek word “skirtao” and it literally means “leap for joy”.
“Skirtao” is used only one other place in the New Testament and it is found in Luke 6:22 & 23: “Blessed are you when men hate you, ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil for the sake of the Son of Man; be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.”
Like John, we are to leap for joy whenever we encounter the presence of Jesus. We are to leap for joy whenever we suffer. We are to leap for joy whenever we encounter hurt feelings, betrayal or rejection. There is no logical explanation for this kind of response, but it is a healthy response. You can only jump if you spend time in His presence. His presence will allow you to “skirtao” at the very worst moment of your life.