God, You are a promise keeper. Your Word is true and trustworthy!
You came to bring me fullness of Joy as I sit in Your presence!
May Hope, Peace, Love and Joy abound in my life!
Focus of the Month: “The Promise Fulfilled”
When I was in grade school my favorite teacher had a chart that encouraged participation and achievement in her classroom. If assignments were completed early or exceeded expectations there was a prize to be had…the GOLD star! Even though I knew it was just a sticker and didn’t hold much meaning on its own, when it was placed next to my name it became significant. It was the meaning behind the sticker that mattered. It brought me great joy when I would see that star and it made me want to work harder every day. I miss those days when joy abounded in the simple things of life. Don’t you?
The 4th week of Advent is upon us. As we have been preparing our hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus, have you considered the simplicity of His birthplace? A stable. Nothing fancy or ornate about it. The King of Israel would be born and placed in a manger, a place where animals are fed. His humble birth would make a way for us to restore our broken lives with our one true God. So, are we rejoicing as we experience that beautiful shining star in the sky that holds more meaning than we can comprehend? Did you know the star led the shepherds and wise men to this insignificant place with a very significant meaning? With angels rejoicing and heavenly host proclaiming His greatness – Joy has arrived as a newborn babe!
What a glorious night…
“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.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:10-14)
When Jesus came down from Heaven and was born to Mary, He brought with Him the gift of joy. He became fully man and remained fully God. As Mary held baby Jesus close to her chest, can you imagine the joy she must have felt? Yet the fear that may have been there as well – because she knew the scriptures. She knew the Savior of the world would come and that He would suffer. Her baby was that Savior. Yet, joy would overcome!
All that the angels proclaimed about Jesus, Mary pondered over and held in her heart. She would hold these treasured words inside, for one day she would need them for strength. We can follow the example of Mary by reminding ourselves of His goodness, His sovereignty, His protection and all of His mighty works! Let’s hold those close in our hearts so that when we encounter suffering in different ways and varying degrees – We can rejoice!
How can we receive the joy that has come in Christ when we are in the midst of sadness? When we have to move away from family? Perhaps we are estranged from someone we love or we have lost someone and the emptiness we feel can’t be filled? How does joy look in those moments?
We must rest in His presence:
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
God sent His Son to give us fullness of joy. We can proclaim the good news that Jesus Christ is King and rest in that truth. Everlasting joy awaits us in eternity with our Savior, Jesus Christ. That, my sisters, is worth rejoicing over! Just as the shepherds rejoiced on that silent night so long ago, so we too can rejoice and allow our hearts to be filled by the joy of the Lord in all seasons and in all circumstances. So whether you go tell it on a mountain, over the hills or at your local grocery store…tell the good news of Christ this season and share His gifts of Hope, Peace, Love and Joy with all you meet.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Luke 2:1-21; Psalm 16:11