I BORROWED the title of this column from a line in the popular Christmas song “Joy to the World” that surprisingly was not about Christ’s birth.

It’s about Christ’s death and resurrection. The song is a product of a collaboration among three men in a work that spanned a century. It was written in the “Story behind the song: ‘Joy to the World’” on the St. Augustine Record at www.staugustine.com/living/2015-12-17 that the three worked on their own and did not come out with the song until a hundred years later.

Isaac Watts, a scholar and author, started composing poetry based on Psalm 98 in 1719. He had complained of how songs in Church were hard to sing, so he wrote new hymns in the next two years at a rate of one hymn every two weeks. George Frederick Handel, a composer, worked on his famous work “Messiah” in 1741. Almost a century later, or in 1839, Lowell Mason found Watts’s poem of joy and chose the beautiful melody in Handel’s “Messiah” for the music.

Mason set Watts’s poem to Handel’s music and created one of the world’s most beloved and popular Christmas songs, “Joy to the World,” the website said.

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come.

“Let earth receive her King;

“Let every heart prepare him room,

“And heaven and nature sing,

“And heaven and nature sing,

“And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

“Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns.

“Let men their songs employ,

“While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

“Repeat the sounding joy,

“Repeat the sounding joy,

“Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.”

In the 2014 article “More to the Music: ‘Joy to the World’” by Cicely Corry on the Billy Graham website at Billygraham.org/story/more-to-the-music-joy-to-the-world/, we learned that “Joy to the World” was not meant to be a Christmas song. There was no mention of Bethlehem or the Three Kings or shepherds or angels singing. Corry said the lyrics were a jubilant paraphrase of Psalm 98—a psalm of David about salvation and praise. “Joy to the World” is not about Christ’s birth, but rather His return, Corry added.

The phrase “Let every heart prepare Him room” spoke of the promise of resurrection and salvation that should elevate our fickle happiness to lasting joy, Corry said.

Such a beautiful message from a song not meant for Christmas but is relevant today.

This Christmas, we are called upon to prepare room in our hearts for Christ’s coming. The song “Joy to the World” announces this and says the world should receive the King and that “let every heart prepare him room” as heaven and angels sing.

No matter how dark the future seems or how difficult the challenges, here is a message of hope telling us that good will prevail.