The Best Non-Christmas Carol Written

From Paul Tripp Ministries

“No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.”

That little swaddled boy
came to do
much more than
any boy,
rich or poor,
strong or weak,
from anywhere,
at any time,
has ever been born
to do.
His birth is a
to be part of the biggest
mission of grace
the world has ever known.
His birth is a welcome
to live for something vastly
than your wants
your needs
your feelings
your plans
your hopes
your dreams.
He came
not just to rescue you
from your bondage
to you,
as wonderful as this rescue is.
No, he came to rescue
the entire cosmos,
every corner of
to the outer reaches of
all that is.
He came to redeem
but more than you,
to redeem the whole world
that right now is
waiting for redemption.

The Christmas story is an
invitation to you
to be part of the single greatest
that history has ever
or will ever see
and the grace of the
is your entrance fee.

“He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders, wonders, of his love.”

Did you know Joy to the World was not originally intended to be a Christmas carol? The great hymn writer Isaac Watts penned it in 1719 as part of his Psalm of David Imitated. It has since become one of the most beloved songs in church history.

The third stanza has a particularly profound and encouraging sentence: “He comes to make his blessings flow // far as the curse is found.”

What was the mission of Jesus? What is the promise of the prickly manger bed, the bloody cross, and the empty tomb? What is the ultimate goal of the reigning King Christ?

What is the scope of the work of redemption? What in the world is God working on? What does the final chapter of the grand redemptive story look like?

The words of this grand old hymn capture it with accuracy and power. While Jesus indeed did come “to make his blessings flow,” it’s not enough to say. You must add, “far as the curse is found.”

You see, Jesus didn’t simply come to rescue disembodied souls. Yes, he saves our souls from eternal damnation; we should be eternally grateful for that. But he also came to unleash his powerful restoring grace to the furthest extent of sin.

He came to restore every single thing that sin has broken. He came to fix it all! His redemptive mission is as complete as sin’s destruction is comprehensive.

I love the words of Revelation 21:5, and so should you: “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Are you tired of the futility and frustration of this broken world? Are you exhausted by sin, suffering, and death? Are you burdened with the pain that lives inside you and outside you? At times, do you wonder if anyone knows, if anyone understands, and if anyone cares?

The words of this great hymn and this encouraging passage from the final book of the Bible are for you. Your Redeemer knows. Your Redeemer understands. Your Redeemer cares.

His grace has been unleashed, and its work will not be done until every last sin-broken thing is fully and completely made new.

Be encouraged this Christmas season. Your Redeemer is at work!

God bless,

Paul David Tripp

“Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come,” (third and fourth stanza) by Isaac Watts, 1719.

Reflection Questions

1. Go back and re-read the third stanza of Joy to the World. Where are you currently experiencing the effects of the curse in your life? What specific things make you tired of the futility and frustration of this broken world? Take some time to purposefully name some of the burdens you bear and pains you experience in your life that exist both inside and outside of you.

2. Now pray through each of the things you wrote down and ask God to help you see that he cares about everything you listed. How does the gospel unlock the ability to address each of the things you jotted down? Why does the truth of the gospel matter when it comes to these specific areas where you find yourself “groaning” and waiting for redemption?

3. When you think about the grand scope of the Christmas story, how is it also a personal invitation to you? Why are you personally a part of the single greatest transformation that history has ever or will ever see? What makes it possible for you to enter into this beautiful story?

4. Take some time now to thank God that the cross has made it possible for you to have everything on your original list addressed by God. Praise and worship him because he cares about you in a general sense, but also specifically through every little frustrating thing you may have written down. Pray and thank God that his blessings flow over every part of your life where the curse might be found. Communicate your gratitude to God this Christmas season because your Redeemer deeply and graciously cares about you and every detail of your life.

The Best Non-Christmas Carol Written

New Hope Presbyterian Church Bridgeton, NJ

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