This is week three of the Advent season. I searched various resources for a definition of joy but all seemed to come up short. Then I found this quote:
“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
And it helped me understand my dissatisfaction with the definitions I saw in the dictionaries and other resources; in those resources, joy was related to circumstances, as shown in the following example, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” But we who accepted His gift of salvation know it is possible to experience joy in adverse circumstances, because of the reasons given in His written Word:
He is our joy:
“Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God” (Psalm 43:4, NIV; emphasis added).
Joy is a component of the fruit of the Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV; emphasis added).
And in God’s presence there is fullness of joy:
“You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore”
(Psalm 16:11, AMP; emphasis added).
As we go through this week, may we do so with the knowledge that He is our joy, with a renewed awareness of His constant presence with us, and with a steady yielding to His Spirit.
NIV – New International Version
AMP – Amplified Bible
At the start of this new week, let us begin from the position of worship. Worship focuses our attention on who He is and we need to know that God is greater than whatever we may face. We. Need. To. See. Him. As. He. is. Then and only then, will we see everything and everyone, including ourselves, clearly.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly,
You’re so blessed among women,
and the babe in your womb, also blessed!
And why am I so blessed that
the mother of my Lord visits me?
The moment the sound of your
greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.
Blessed woman, who believed what God said,
believed every word would come true!
And Mary said,
I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before Him.
He bared His arm and showed His strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
He remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what He promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now. (Luke 1: 39-55)
Prayer: Father, this Christmas, as we read and hear familiar passages of Scripture, may we experience a fresh sense of wonder and joy, as if we were being told of Your indescribable love for the first time.