“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (Phil. 4:4-5)
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.
“Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.” (Isaiah 35:10)
“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10b)
There is no greater testimony than the joy that the world observes when a child of God sees past the burden to the bearer. The joy of the Lord is our strength, when we rejoice in what God has done for us, we can rejoice in Him, even in the darkest days.
This does not mean we won’t weep or mourn while we tarry on this broken world, but it does mean we do not weep or mourn in vain. The lunatic laughs at pain and death and destruction, that is not true joy. It was a joy for Jesus to go willingly to the cross, but He was not laughing on the cross.
Joy runs deeper than laughter or even happiness, and certainly deeper than pain. Like an underground river that can flow under a barren desert, when we seek Him joy erupts in an oasis, seemingly out of nowhere. The people around us wonder where the joy comes from, and there in God receives Glory.
So, this Advent season renew your joy in Jesus! This song may help, follow this link to listen to “Joy To The World” by Phil Wickam.
Have a joyous week!