He Is Still Immanuel
Even though 2,000 years have come and gone since Jesus was born, he is still Immanuel. Why? Because the Bible says in Matthew 1:23, "'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which is translated, 'God with us'" (New King James Version).

God came to be with us in Jesus on the first Christmas morning—and He is still with us in Him today. Even though Jesus died on the cross and bore our sins, even though He was raised again and ascended physically to be with the Father, Jesus is still here. Through the Person of the Holy Spirit, He is still on the earth, living in the hearts of everyone who receives Him as Lord of their lives.

Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20). He also promised, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).

Jesus is here to bring fullness of joy into our lives (John 17:13). He is here giving us the joy of the Lord, the greatest Christmas present anyone could ever imagine. So no matter how dark things may seem to be around us, we can confidently say to ourselves...to each other, and to a lost world, "The joy is back!"

Joy is important! Nehemiah 8:10 says, "the joy of the Lord is your strength." It's a spiritual force that invigorates and gives us the power to live in victory. Jesus is living on the inside of us. Therefore, we have all the joy we ever need.

Unto You Is Born a Savior!
"I don't know about that, Pastor George," you might say. "I'm a Christian. I've trusted Jesus as my Savior and Lord but, even so, I don't feel joyful right now."

Well, are you fellowshipping with Him and enjoying His presence? Or are you focusing on the negative things that seem to be happening around you instead of focusing on the wonder of what God has done within you? Have you lost sight of the fact that the Son of God has been born unto you?

Think about how excited a couple gets when their first child is born. I remember how it was for Terri and me. We were so thrilled about the birth of our son, Jeremy that we could hardly think of anything else.

We spent untold hours and days on end getting his little room ready. We made great preparation for him because we knew he would be a focal point of our lives for a long while.

The moment he was born at 1:13 in the afternoon, Terri yelled, "Praise God!" Then the nurses brought that little boy to me and I knew I'd never be the same. My heart was so full of joy I could hardly stand it. Unto me a son was born that day and he has brought me great joy ever since!

When my daughter, Aubrey, was born a few years later I experienced that same joy again. Our children changed our whole lives. We didn't just have them, put them in a room somewhere and get back to business as usual.

Terri and I scheduled our lives around our children. And we've taken enough photos and videotapes of our times with them to start a museum. And in all those pictures you can see that there was great joy in our household.

How much more should we be that way about Jesus? How much more should we center our lives around Him? How much more should we think about Him and talk to Him and enjoy His presence in everything we do?

If we'll do that, we'll find-sure enough—the joy is back in our lives!

Reason to Rejoice
"But you don't understand," you might say. "I'm facing some bad situations in my life." If that's the case, then these verses are for you.
Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord.

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
(Joel 2:21-23, 25-27)
When the challenges we're facing come to mind, our very next thought should be, The Lord will do great things for me! Then we should begin to rejoice.

Why is rejoicing so important? It's an expression of faith that opens the door for God to work His wonders in our lives! That's why we should be following the instructions of the Apostle Paul who said, "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice" (Philippians 4:4).

No matter how we may feel emotionally or how trying our circumstances might be, we should be perpetually rejoicing in God and partaking of the joy of the Lord. Joy is a force that will push depression out of our lives.

We've all suffered disappointments, lost some things along the way in life, but God has promised to restore us. He's said, "I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten." We can take joy in that today! We can rejoice in the fact that God is restoring our lives, our families...our finances, our health...and anything else the devil has stolen from us.

What better time could there be for us to start rejoicing than right now, during Christmas? Let's do it! Let's open the door for God to work miracles in our lives by filling our hearts with His Word, our lives with His fellowship, and our mouths with the message the angels delivered that first Christmas day. Let's boldly say to everybody who will listen:

The joy is back!
Move over depression, the joy is back!
Move over fear, the joy is back!
For unto us is born a Savior who is anointed to break every burden and destroy every yoke of bondage in our lives.
Unto us is born this day Jesus Christ, the Lord!

Source: From Believer's Voice of Victory
by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland
Excerpt permission granted by Kenneth Copeland Ministries