When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. – Matthew 2:10
How is your joy meter? In other words, are you rejoicing or sorrowful? Too often when we look around us, we see only sad things, terrible things, going on around us every day. If this describes your perspective, let me invite you to consider the idea that only thing that is greater than the evil in the world is the love of God.
Though persecuted in most every way in his journeys to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul was still convinced of the greatness of the love of God. When the Apostle considered the suffering endured by the saints, he had this to say, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Believing in Jesus Christ and His kingdom has always been controversial. When the wise men came from the east following the heralding star, their quest brought them before King Herod in Jerusalem where they discovered the last clue to finding the Savior in Bethlehem. Seeing the star over the town of Bethlehem, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. These wise men or magi were likely Gentiles from regions once dominated by the Persion empire where Daniel and other prominent Jewish prophets left a legacy of hope for future generations of Jews and non-Jews alike. However, when these men began to return home by way of Jerusalem to report their findings to the court of Herod, they learned by the Holy Spirit that wicked king sought to kill the Christ-child. The Magi returned another way, but when Herod learned of their escape, he killed every child in Bethlehem two years old and younger. Despite this plot Jesus, Mary, and Joseph escaped beforehand to Egypt.
Brothers and Sisters, all the world groans under the weight of sin and suffering. I understand if your joy meter is sometimes stuck on “E.” Remember, if you believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior, you may be persecuted, but you are not forsaken. You may be cast down, but you are not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:9). Rejoice when exceeding great joy!