5 12 2014

What brings you joy? Don’t answer too quickly. Let the question settle in. Explore the landscape of your heart. Look back over the last few days. Close your eyes and let it wash over you. What brings you joy?

Joy is different than happiness. Happiness is good, but it is circumstantial. If things go our way, if everything works out, if something positive happens, we are happy. If our circumstances go awry, our level of happiness diminishes. Joy runs deeper. Joy isn’t grounded in circumstances, but in our connection to God. His presence in our lives is what fuels the joy that allows us to experience contentment, confidence, and peace in the midst of whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

As Isaiah announces the coming of the Messiah, he tells us that one of the primary signposts of His arrival will be an explosion of joy. Joy will fill the hearts of those who belong to Him, who follow Him, who open their hearts to His presence and power.

“You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy. Oh, they’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.” – Isaiah 9:3 (The Message)

My Jesus Resolution today is to embrace joy. Joy has to be chosen because living in His presence is always a choice. It is easy to be comfortable with happiness. Joy requires digging deeper, listening more closely, seeing with eyes alert to His presence, and developing a quiet trust in His goodness. Every time I see the word joy during this holiday season, I am going to remember that the true source of joy is found in the Savior who came to give Himself as a gift to the world.



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