Day 9 — Monday, December 5, 2022

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
The voice of your watchmen — they lift up their voice;
together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see
the return of the LORD to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
you waste places of Jerusalem,
for the LORD has comforted his people;
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The LORD has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
Isaiah 52:7–10

Imagine when you were little and all you wanted to do on Christmas morning was sprint down the stairs to go see what presents Santa had brought you overnight. You were still in your pajamas, didn’t even wait to eat breakfast or brush your teeth — just straight down the stairs to the magic and wonder that was found under the tree. You were bursting with joy. Pure joy. 

That is the feeling that the prophet Isaiah is portraying here. Pure joy as the messenger is running down the mountain to bring good news to the town. Pure joy as they proclaim peace and salvation! Pure joy as the watchmen shout to the people that the battle has been won. 

I wonder sometimes if we could bottle up that joy and just carry it with us on tough days. Carry it with us and spray it on our wrists like a good perfume. And I think we can… figuratively, of course, because joy is rooted in what God does. Joy can be found in these verses. The joy in these verses comes after much worry and anxiety — a battle had to be won, death and loss and stress were on the forefront of people’s minds. And the messengers brought the people pure joy with their news. 

Our God is a God of joy. Jesus came to earth. There was stress. There were tough days. A battle had to be won, death was inevitable. But joy, in the form of Jesus, had come. The angels called Jesus’ birth “good news of great joy” because even though there was death and sadness and hard times, Jesus came to bring joy. Pure joy. 

So next time you are facing a tough day, take out that little bottle of joy — in the form of a Bible verse, a worship song, a devotional — and spray it all over. I pray you feel pure joy in these coming weeks as we celebrate the good news that Jesus came to earth for us. 

Courtney Kust is the assistant athletic director of events and assistant women’s basketball coach at Hope College.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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