As a little girl, I loved singing those words – and usually quite loudly. Oh, because didn’t I just feel like the embodiment of that faith and joy in the heady midst of childhood? Happy, vibrant and presumably so innocent? It was easy to sing about being faithful, joyful and triumphant. Jesus came, I was saved. End of story.
As I got older, the words became strangely convicting. Lord, it was so easy to think, I’m none of those things. I’m not as faithful as I really should be; you’re kind of on the back burner right now. I need to finish school/get that promotion/figure out my life. I’ll chat with you later. So often I’m sad, or depressed – not joyful at all. And how in the world can I be, ‘triumphant’ with all that’s going on? No way.
It became easier to doubt myself, and to question the true reality of my faith. It’s hard not be become self-deprecating and discouraged during one of the happiest months of the year. A time that is celebrated with strings of lights and bright trees can prove, for some, to be a very dark place.
It’s during those rough moments of self-doubt that we need to remember – this month isn’t about us at all. This isn’t a celebration of self. It’s about the One who came.
Christmas is a reminder of the true embodiment of faith that was sent: Jesus. Galatians 3:23 simply refers to him as, ‘faith’ itself in the following: ‘Now, before faith came we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.” He is the true definition of faith, a physical illustration of the faithful. What a joy it is to know that Jesus was born, that he has given us the chance to be vulnerable and open with our King. It is in him that we are healed of the flesh, and have the chance to take part in the coming Kingdom.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
So come, all you broken, discouraged, and sad. Come, you who feel the lingering ache of heartbreak and despair, those plagued by guilt, a nervous mind, or are worried about the looming, fast approaching reality of the future. Come, all you who can be faithful, joyful, and triumphant. A child has been born, one that gives us the unalterable ability to be joyful and triumphant in God’s name and for His glory.