The first two chapters of Luke are full of joyful people.
Elizabeth, filled with joy only God's Spirit could produce, praised God at hearing Mary's voice. An older woman previously barren and ashamed, she was now joyfully pregnant at an age when most of her peers were welcoming grandchildren.
Mary joyfully broke into a song of praise when she learned she would be the one to bring the promised Messiah into the world. It would not be an easy time and she would need strength and blessing from the Lord, but her first response was one of joy and thanksgiving.
Zechariah prophesied with much joy his son's role in proclaiming the Messiah. Freed from months of silence his first words were joyful praise to God.
The angels' joy at Messiah's birth filled the night sky with bright light and joyous singing. Shepherds who witnessed this display hurried joyfully to see this baby who inspired such an angelic celebration then went into the city to spread the joy to others.
Simeon rejoiced to hold the newborn Messiah. An old priest whose only desire was to see this Child, he joyfully proclaimed that he was now at peace and praised God for His salvation.
What prompted all this joy?
No matter what the circumstances; whether young or old, man or woman all of these faithful believers responded with joy when Jesus was revealed to them. Their immediate demonstration of that joy was praise and thanksgiving.
As His followers do we experience that kind of joy in knowing Him? Do we demonstrate our gladness in all He has done with praise and thanksgiving?
Paul said, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice!"
If Jesus has rescued and reconciled you; if you have a secure future with Him...
Rejoice! Be joyful! Express your joy in praise and thanksgiving!