Christmas can be a difficult time of year for lots of people. Grieving the loss of loved ones, family conflicts, depression, anxiety, and financial hardships pile up on an already busy, hectic, and stressful time of year. For many, it can seem like everything is ok on outside while it feels very dark and lonely on the inside.
That’s where the final week of Advent can really help us through the Christmas season. Today, we celebrate Joy!
Joy gives us the strength to keep going.
The cares of this world suck the life right out of us. The worries of life weigh us down. But, the joy of the Lord gives us strength!
Psalm 30:11-12 says “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.”
We all know that if we are mourning, we’ve got no strength for dancing. I’m just too tired! But God promises to turn our mourning into not just dancing, but joyful dancing. That means, He gives us the strength to dance!
As we look back over the weeks of Advent, we see how the gifts of Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy sustain us through our day to day existence. We look back at Jesus’ first coming and wonder at the marvelous miracle of it all. As a result, we are filled with Hope, Peace, Love and Joy so that we can keep going as we wait for the Second Coming!
Hope keeps us eagerly waiting for eternity. Peace keeps us walking steadily in this unpredictable world. Love is the driving force that fuels our purpose. And, Joy gives us strength to keep going.
Just as the angel proclaimed to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people”, may you be filled with Joy as we share in celebrating the Good News together today!
You can still keep meditating on Advent, even though Christmas is here! If you need a devotional to help, sign up for “A Season of Advent” here!