“The third Sunday of Advent we are invited to reflect on the joy we have access to because of our faith in Jesus. One of the defining characteristics of Christ-followers is their joyful demeanor. Let’s not allow the struggles of this year to steal from the great joy we have because of Jesus.” (Crosswalk.com)
Philippians 4:4-5 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Rejoice – to be delighted. To feel or express great happiness. Paul wrote to the Philippians saying do it. And then do it again. And again.
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9
Our happiness is can be fleeting and momentary. As a child I was allowed to have one birthday party. My mother filled these little baskets with a treat at each place setting. Some fifty years later I came across the same little basket in a party supply store (since gone out of business).
We have access to more joy than can be gotten through anything one can purchase at a store or online. We have joy that comes from our Savior. His birth caused such joy that angels descended to sing over the earth.
The Anchor devotional for December 2021 reads: ” The difference between happiness and joy is the difference between a short-term pleasant experience and a long-term positive change in circumstances. And the difference between joy and great joy is the difference between believing things are going to be okay, and knowing they are going to be marvelous! Hard times still mark our lives as they did for Jesus and His disciples. But great joy means that it all has purpose and meaning. It will end very well. Enduring life’s challenges may make us strong. But more importantly, it makes us more like Jesus. We may want to be made better for this life, but He intends to make us completely new, perfect, and ready for His eternal kingdom.”
Have you felt that inexpressible and glorious joy? Sit with the Word and the Lord whose birth we celebrate. Ask Him to show you that great joy. “Jesus, we ask You to open our eyes to the great joys that surround us. Help us to do You honor as we remember Your birth and Your return. Amen”