Updated: Jan 18
As We enter our second week of Advent we will be focusing on Joy.
In a world that appears to be getting darker and more chaotic, joy often can seem to be nothing more than a theoretical concept. Closer to home, everytime Christmas roles around, the time can feel anything but joyful as we are reminded of the various dysfunctions in our families, friends, and our worlds around us. And so what do we do? Usually, we work ourselves to death to ensure the decorations, the presents, the food is all perfect in hope that maybe this year, everything and everyone will be just as they should be.
The issue with this, as we discussed last week about hope, too often we put our hopes and expectations in all the wrong things and as a consequence they yield misery.
Luke 4:18 reveals to us Jesus' purpose for coming to this earth: "He has sent me to proclaim freedom to the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor"
As believers, we are commanded to be joyful in all circumstances. This can often be incredibly difficult especially when the circumstances make it feel as though our worlds are falling apart. However, as we discussed last week, these times have the potential to be the best. They can give us the opportunity to see that we are blind and helpless and that we need a better Manager than ourselves in
our lives. These times often force us to look at God And if we let Him, He will grow us in ways we cannot imagine. Therefore, we are to "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance" - James 1:2
This Christmas, we have an opportunity to potentially do something we never have done before and that is to really be still and listen to what God is telling us. If we let Him and we ask Him, he will provide us with growth and joy beyond what we can imagine.