Delight Advent Week 3 | Joy Has Come
This is the third week of Advent. (already!?) This year threw me off a little bit, since Christmas is on a Sunday this year and Advent began earlier. This week, our focus is joy. Broken and marred by sin, this world was and is in desperate need of our perfect King to come. We marvel at the incredible gift that God would send His Son into this world.
Last week, we focused on preparing our hearts for His coming. And this week, we marvel with joy and great expectant hope that He is coming despite our sin. Despite our brokenness. And despite our failures. Even though we live in a world filled with sorrow and pain, we are comforted that our coming King comes despite those things.
This morning, I was reading in John Chapter 16.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and
lament, but the world will rejoice. You will
be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into
joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has
sorrow because her hour has come, but
when she has delivered the baby, she no
longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a
human being has been born into the world.
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see
you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and
no one will take your joy from you. In that day
you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say
to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my
name, he will give it to you. Until now you
have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and
you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Let our focus be on this:
Psalm 16:11 says, “In Your presence there is fullness of joy.”
1 Peter 1:8-9 says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
All through the bible, we are encouraged that there is JOY beyond all compare in the presence of Jesus.
What an incomprehensible thought, that in the very physical presence of Jesus Christ our King, there is complete and FULLNESS of joy. Can you even imagine!? So this week, as we continue to prepare our hearts for His coming, we are filled with joy. Complete and full joy. Because there is a day that awaits us when we see our King face to face. And in that day, “your hearts will rejoice,” and “no one will take your joy from you.”
But you may be wondering, what exactly IS joy?
When all we want is to doubt, JOY is trusting. It is being faithful in the unseen. It is hoping in the not-yet.
Joy is receiving what we want to reject. Just this last week, I watched a video of a little girl opening a beautifully wrapped gift, only to find inside a tiny paperclip. Her response taught me so much. She was overcome with so much gratitude. Joy and gratitude go hand in hand. They complement one another to form a lifestyle which we should all follow. A lifestyle of receiving and rejoicing for what we DO have, rather than envying those that have what “could be better”. But what awaits you is a JOY beyond all compare.
All throughout His Word, God is gently nudging and reminding us, His children, that we need to understand that He will take care of us regardless of what this world displays. Regardless of political campaigns, regardless of beyond-our-control natural disasters. There is nothing in this world that He has not already gone before and conquered. You know why?
Ah. What a beautiful and glorious and undeserving gift. So we rest and hope with joy and peace that Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father and King, is coming for US.
Happiness comes and goes and is an emotion that we feel, but joy is a choice. It is a matter of our heart. It is a position of our heart. So last week, as we focused on the posture of our heart to be prepared for His coming, this week, we position our hearts to be filled with joy regardless of circumstance. We choose to pursue the joy of Christ as we await His return.
December 11, 2016
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