December 18, 2017

Advent 2017 - Joy

Devotion for the Week...

Only one week left until Christmas! So far this Advent season, we've looked at hope and peace. Today we will look at the joy we have because of Jesus.

I want to start by saying that joy is not the same as being happy all the time. No one can be happy all the time. There are seasons of grief and trouble in life and there is no way to avoid them, as much as we would like to. Joy sits deeper than happiness, below our circumstances and it isn't affected by what is going on around us.

When I was thinking about what to write for today, I kept thinking about the old hymn "It Is Well With My Soul." The first verse says:

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.


The part that really resonates with me is "Whatever my lot." Whatever comes my way in life, whether it is good or bad, it is always well with my soul. 

Why is it well with my soul through everything? Because of Jesus! Because of His sacrifice for my sins, I know that, no matter what happens to me, God's grace covers me and I will spend eternity in heaven with Him.

That is the source of our joy. Even when we're grieving the loss of a loved one, or dealing with a diagnosis that has us reeling, we can know that we are secure in Jesus. That doesn't mean we won't cry in our grief, and it doesn't mean the diagnosis won't scare us, but it does mean that even in the midst of those things we can have joy.

Independent of our circumstances, our joy comes from Jesus. This is really important for us to understand. If we only associate joy with being happy, then we'll assume we can only have joy when things are going our way. But if joy is something deeper, if it is caused by the security we have spiritually because of Jesus, then our joy can be our strength through those hard seasons.

When the angel appeared to the shepherds, he said, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord" (Luke 2:10,11). 
Advent devotion - joy | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The news didn't cause great joy for all the people because their circumstances were suddenly and forever made perfect so they'd never have trouble again in their lives. Not even close. The angel proclaimed great joy for all the people because of the birth of Jesus. Because He had come into the world to bring us back into relationship with God and set us free from sin.

Whatever our circumstances this Advent season, we have joy through Jesus because it is well with our souls.

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