It’s beginning to look like Christmas! What does that look like for you? Is it the tinsel and lights? The Christmas trees and yards are all adorned? The Christmas programs at church? The shopping and wrapping of that perfect or not-so-perfect gift for family, friends, or the checkout person at your favorite store? It may look different to each one of us. Our traditions and relationship with Jesus during Christmas will be different and yet the same.
Christmas and Joy have been running side by side in a deeper way this year for me. A friend of mine chose Joy as her word for 2022 and she has had that deep-seated joy as her husband passed from this life to heaven, in our eyes and hearts, much too soon. We all prayed, believed, and begged God to heal and restore this man’s health and bring him home to his family. That was not the outcome for this friend and her three children. Devastating, yet she continues to walk through the grief journey with joy. One of my favorite things to do as an employee of WBFJ is going out on our Christmas Blessing visits. This year we met three beautiful families that have every reason to be sad, but with each family, the one thing that ran deep was their joy, even in the hardest of circumstances.
We have recited many times from the Word, the peace that passes all understanding, Phil 4:6. I have found myself lately saying the joy that passes all understanding.
Joy is produced by the spirit of God. Joy is a gift from God. You can be in a hard season not understanding why and have joy because of the great truth that God is with us!!! His word is true and we can trust Him, not in our circumstances.
Kneeling before Baby Jesus lying in a manger is the beginning of my joy. I am so thankful that God in His love for mankind including me, made a way for us, His name is Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. I have forever been grateful for the artist’s rendition of Jesus lying in a manger with His arms open wide. I always feel it’s the artist’s way of saying Jesus is ready to receive us with arms wide open. Jesus is with us, He is acquainted with our griefs, our hurts our heartaches. He is with us through it all. Joy grows even deeper to the moment He gave up His own life with arms stretched wide open again for me, for you!!! Because He died for us, and we accept Him as our own personal Savior, we live, we have life everlasting! What a trade-off!! If that does not make you joyous, I’m not sure what will. Then He further goes to heaven to prepare a place for you and me. I’m sure you already have loved ones there just like I do. Oh, the joy set before us.
No matter what is going on in our lives, whether we are walking in grief or everyone is healthy in our family, our joy does not come because of our circumstances but because of who Jesus is. He is our Joy!!!! No matter what, if we have Jesus, we can rest in joy unspeakable.
My prayer is that this year if you are having trouble with your joy, you will run to Jesus. He is standing with arms wide open! He loves you and me so much!!! Get in His word, pray, and spend time with Jesus and I know your joy will get deeper and deeper. So deep that nothing or no one can keep you from joy!!!!
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10
We are thankful for each of you, our WBFJ family!!!!!!
May you have a Joyous & Blessed Christmas!!!!!
Love & Blessings,