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

 

Advent Week 3: Day 7 – JOY

joy-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

Monday Vitamins: Joy

joyThis 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