The Joy of Advent: Day 21

 

Joy (9)

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.”

(Psalm 30:4-5, NKJV)

“Promise of Joy”

This weeping.
Your weeping.
You have tried to stop it.
Keep it hidden from those who know and love you.
Not wanting to cast a gloom on the preparations
for the celebration of the birth of the Messiah.

And you have been successful.
Smiling when others are around.
But needing hiding spaces.
to let it out:
The bathroom.
Your pillow.
Your car.

It continues.
This weeping. 
This anguish.
This sorrow.
This aching of the heart.
This weariness of the soul.
It has lasted longer than you ever thought it could.
Sapped your strength.
Made even ordinary tasks seem monumental.
But you are holding on with everything you have.
Trying to hold everything together.
And you have not let go of hope.
Even through the tears.

Dear One,
He sees you.
And He is holding you.
Even around the jagged edges.
And whispering this truth to you.
Listen.
“This weeping. This anguish. It has an end date on it.
The night will end. Morning is coming. Morning is coming.
And with it joy.
The joy known only to those who endured the night.
Reached again and again for grace.
White-knuckled hope.
Whispered broken Hallelujahs.
Kept on trusting.
Chose to say, like Habakkuk, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
This is His promise of joy.
And He, your
exceeding joy, will keep it.

© E. W. Wright December 2016

 

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The Joy of Advent: Day 20

Joy (7)

Prayer
Father, we accept the psalmist’s invitation to sing for joy to You, YAHWEH. We shout aloud to You, the Rock of our salvation, even if we do so through tears. Even if our days may seem long and our nights unending during this Advent season. We sing for joy because You are our Refuge and our Fortress and You are with us every moment. Immanuel. And joy is found in You.

The Joy of Advent: Day 19

Joy (4)

“Shout out to God, all the earth.
    Erupt with joy to the one True God!
Sing of the glory due His name!
    Offer Him the most magnificent praises!”
(Psalm 66:1-2, VOICE)

Prayer
Almighty God and Father, if there is ever a time for us to erupt with joy to You, sing of the glory of Your Name, and offer You the most magnificent praises, the Advent season is definitely the time, as we focus on Your incomprehensible love for us.  Halleluiah!

The Joy of Advent: Day 18

Joy (3)

“But let all who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice,
Let them ever sing for joy;
Because You cover and shelter them,
Let those who love Your name be joyful and exult in You.
For You, O Lord, bless the righteous man [the one who is in right standing with You];
You surround him with favor as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:11-12, AMP)

Prayer

Abba Father, You are our refuge. We chose to trust You, trustworthy God, and today we sing for joy at Your goodness and amazing, incomprehensible love. You cover and shelter us, Father. Your very name is a strong tower into which we run and are safe. We exult in You!


Other posts in the Advent 2017 series can be found here.

 

 

The Joy of Advent: Day 17

Joy (2)

In the first verse of his song, “Count your many blessings,” published in 1897, Johnson Oatman, Jr., tells us,

“When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

“Count your many blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

This is a wonderful, life changing practice, as Ann Voskamp demonstrated aptly in her book, “One Thousand Gifts.” This Advent season we reflect on the truth that, of all the blessings God has given us,  nothing compares to this, “… while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:5, NIV, emphasis added). Our redemption was all His doing, and His doing only.

For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law] , so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. (Ephesians 2:8-9, AMP).

Prayer

Father, this Advent season, let us hear and read and experience this truth as if hearing and reading about and experiencing Your amazing love for the first time. Noel.

 


Other posts in the Advent 2017 series can be found here.

The Joy of Advent: Day 16

Joy (1)

“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23, AMP) 

Prayer

Father, I thank You that I do not have to manufacture joy. It is the result of Your presence, the fruit of Your Spirit within me. I have joy. Thank You for the grace to choose joy today.


Other posts in the Advent 2017 series can be found here.

Advent Week 3: Joy

Joy

Introduction and Day 15

Joy
a feeling of great happiness
a source or cause of great happiness : something or someone that gives joy to someone
success in doing, finding, or getting something

Joy. True joy. Where can we find it? Its source is the Omnipresent One. 

“You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”

(Psalm 26:11, AMP)

“For You make him most blessed [and a blessing] forever;
You make him joyful with the joy of Your presence.”

(Psalm 21:6, AMP)  

“In Your presence is fullness of joy.” “You make him joyful with the joy of Your presence.”

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”—which, when translated, means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23, AMP). 

“In Your presence is fullness of joy.” “You make him joyful with the joy of Your presence.”

“… I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually — regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, AMP)

“In Your presence is fullness of joy.” “You make him joyful with the joy of Your presence.”

Immanuel. “God with us.” 

“God with us.” “God with us.” “God with us.” “God with me.” You can make it personal because it is true. Your circumstances may be characterized by uncertainty and pain this Advent season and you may be tempted to ask, “God is with me in this?” The answer is, “Yes.” The answer is always, “Yes. ”

“God is with me.” Whisper it like a secret to your wounded soul. Apply it like a salve. “God is with me.” “God is with me and in His presence is fullness of joy.” I have joy, regardless of my circumstances, because of Him. Embrace the truth. Stretch out on it. Wrap it around you like a comforting blanket. Drink it in. Feast on it. “God is with me and He is with me always [remaining with me perpetually – regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”

Joy. True joy. It is found in His presence. Fullness of joy. It is based on the Omnipresent One and He is with you always.

Prayer

Father, thank You that “Immanuel” is not just a word; it is truth. You are with me. In the midst of all that is not going well. In the midst of the challenges. In the midst of the hustle and bustle. In the midst of it all, help me slow down to rest in the truth that You are with me. I am in Your presence right now and I rejoice in You.

 


The definition of “Joy” is from merriam-webster.com. Other posts in the Advent 2017 series can be found here