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Choose Joy

December 8, 2016

I bring you good news that will

 bring great joy to all people.

Luke 2:10

 

What is the good news that will bring great joy to all people?  The Savior, the Messiah, was born in Bethlehem. And today, it is still cause for joy! Joy to the world the Lord is come. This is a Christmas song we sing every Christmas. In fact, I learned last Sunday that it’s the most popular Christmas song in the world.

 

This is a season for joy…that’s what everyone says. Most people though aren’t focused on Jesus, even those who are celebrating his birth. They let the hustle and bustle capture their minds and hearts. I admit, it’s hard to stay focused on what we say is most important. Christmas is a busy season. And no matter how much we try to simplify it, it just is busy. I started early this year hoping to get everything done early so I will not feel so frantic at the end. I opened up a box of decorations and found a note to self. It said something to the affect that no matter what, get done early so that when the boys get home, I can enjoy them. Too often, my joy is robbed because I choose last minute and procrastination over what’s important.

 

It seems like joy has been a theme for me the past several weeks. I wish I could say I’ve had joy the whole time, but that is not the case. When life happened, my joy was gone. I set out to find out why, because I want to be able to say as Paul did in 2 Corinthians 7:4, “In all my affliction I am overflowing with joy.” If you know anything about Paul, then you know he faced many hardships and affliction. How did he do it?

 

It’s easy to feel a sense of joy when things are going well, but we all know that things don’t go well every minute of every day. At least they don’t for me. I can go several weeks having a sense of joy, but then something happens to disrupt that joy and I’m not sure how to keep it.

 

There are some things we can do though.

  • Joy comes from God so we can ask Him for it. Since joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, it is something God wants us to have. So when we ask, we are agreeing with Him for what He wants for us.

 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him…

Romans 15:13

 

You may ask Me for anything in My name and I will do it…

John 14:14

 

  • Understand the reasons and benefits that come from trials. If you trust God, and you see things from His perspective, then joy is possible in spite of the affliction.

 

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ

in his sufferings, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed

to all the world…

1 Peter 4:12-13

 

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing…James 1:2-4

 

Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; character and character, hope .And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.…

Romans 5:3-5

 

  • Be proactive. Take your focus off your circumstance and do something with God.

Be still and know that I am God…

Psalm 46:10

 

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God!...Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name…

Psalm 100:1-4

  • Open up the Word of God and let it speak to you. You don’t have to feel like it, you just have to take that first step. All of the ways listed invite the presence and power of God to do what only He can do.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart…Hebrews 4:12

 

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right…

2 Timothy 3:16

 

I rejoice in your word, like one who discovers a great treasure…

Psalm 119:162

 

I want them to understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie

hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge…

Colossians 2:2-3

 

So this Christmas season, let’s choose joy! In fact, let’s make it our aim to choose joy every day!!

 

 

 

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