It’s the Season of Joy!
Always be joyful.1 Thessalonians 5:16
We want to bubble over with joy . . . but there seem to be so many things working to suck the joy right out of us.
We’re trying to accomplish too much in too little time. Children are hyper and adults are tired and short on patience. Prices are up and it’s harder to buy gifts and stay on budget.
Some are alone for the first time. Others are suffering from pain and illness. Relationships are strained and hearts are hurting.
There’s no doubt that the enemy of our souls wants to steal our joy . . . and it often feels like he works even harder during the Season of Joy.
Paul’s letter to the Philippians is often called the “joy letter.” He wrote it from a Roman prison and had every reason to be anything but joy-filled.
Yet, he said…
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!Philippians 4:4
Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.Philippians 3:8
The Life Application Bible Notes add…
“Our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances. Paul was full of joy because he knew that no matter what happened to him, Jesus Christ was with him.”
And that’s the point. The Season of Joy celebrates that Jesus Emmanuel is God with us. And because of His life, death, resurrection, and ascension, His Spirit is not only with us but He is within us.
We’ve all met people who are terminally ill, who live alone, or who have nothing of monetary value but they live each day bubbling over with happiness and joy.
What’s their secret?
I believe joy-filled people focus on the fact that they have Jesus with them and within them.
I’ve had times in my life when I was overwhelmed by grief. Times when my heart was breaking and it was hard to put my feet on the floor and get out of bed.
Now, I’ll admit that what I’m about to tell you didn’t happen overnight. It took time. Maybe even more time than it should have taken, but my focus slowly began to change.
Initially, all I could do was cry out to God about my misery. Gradually my rants turned to tear-filled prayers where I pleaded with God for His help and healing.
I didn’t have a lightning-strike moment. Truthfully, I’m not sure exactly when or how my heart began to heal. All I know is that by the power of the Holy Spirit, through daily time in the Word and prayer my focus began to change and God began to restore my joy.
I learned that true and lasting joy is not found in my circumstances. True joy is only found in a relationship with God. It is KNOWING, LOVING, and TRUSTING the Father through Jesus by the power of the Spirit.
“Joy is not the absence of suffering; it is the presence of God.”
I promise, God is loving and faithful and He wants us to be filled with joy and He promises to give it to us. We can run to Him with our grief, our stress, burdens, and challenges trusting Him to give us joy as He surrounds us with His love.
But let all who take refuge in You rejoice;Psalm 5:11–12
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
For you bless the godly, O Lord;
you surround them with your shield of love.
A Prayer to Thrive with Faith in the Season of Joy
Father, Your Word says, “Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord.” (Psalm 40:4) You want me to experience the joy of living in Your presence. (Acts 2:28)
Too often, I let my wants tempt me and my problems overwhelm me. Please forgive me for allowing those things to distract me and draw my heart and mind away from all You want for me. Forgive me for letting anything or anyone rob me of the joy I have in You.
On my own, I’m shortsighted and self-absorbed but with Your Spirit’s help, I will focus on You and surrender to Your will for my life.
Please help me place every concern at the foot of the cross. And help me entrust my wants and needs to Your loving care trusting You to give me all I need each day. Your grace is enough for anything I might experience now or in the future.
By Your grace and with Your help, I stand on the truth of Your promises and look beyond my present circumstances so that I might live with joyful anticipation of the amazing future You have prepared for me.
Lord, I trust You because You are trustworthy. You faithfully keep every promise. And You give me everything I need to live with joy whatever my circumstances. Thanks and praise now and forever. Amen.
Let’s celebrate and thrive with faith throughout the Season of Joy…
Because when we visibly live with joy we show the people around us that Jesus is with us and within us. And maybe, just maybe, they will want what we have.
I love this quote…
“When was the last time you laughed for the sheer joy of your salvation? People are not attracted to somber doctrines. There is no persuasive power in a gloomy and morbid religion. Let the world see your joy and you won’t be able to keep them away. To be filled with God is to be filled with joy.” ~ Anonymous
May God bless you in Jesus throughout this Season of Joy.
Click here for 5 Ways to Add Joy to Your Life Today.
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