Finding Joy

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12: 2

Some days can bring such special blessings, can’t they? We have been to visit our boys, and we had the opportunity to watch Cole perform in his first play with his kindergarten class, entitled “The Runaway Tortilla.”  He played the part of the tortilla, and of course, he was the best little tortilla you could ever imagine! He spoke with such confidence and enthusiasm, and we were so proud of him. Even Miles was impressed with his little brother’s performance!

We are so grateful that we get to experience these times with the boys, and on the way home we had the absolute joy of talking about how cute and adorable they are! Ah, the blessings of being a grandparent!

And we also did another one of my favorite things. We quietly listened to Christmas music – many of those old classics and hymns about the birth of Christ that I love! What joy they can bring as we listen to the words and let the music fill our hearts.

What is this thing called “joy” and how do we find it? One biblical scholar described it as “marking the difference between existing and living life to the fullest. Its presence changes survival to being. Joy is our enjoyment of God and the good things that come from Him.”

When we think back over our lives and remember those times of greatest joy, we’ll probably discover that they were the times when our hearts were the most filled with thanksgiving. For true joy comes from within – when we know from where our blessings come – and not from the things around us. Those “things” may make us happy for a short time, but true joy lasts. It is a state of mind that we have to claim for ourselves through faith and not something we can hope will come to us through our circumstances. As we live a life in Him, we know that difficult and sad times may come, but gratefully, we have the assurance of knowing our God is always with us.

The Christmas season is a time for joy – ours to receive and ours to give – as we look at the wonder of God’s love and presence. We find it in the message of Jesus’s birth and in the hope we find in His grace. And we find it in sharing His love with others. This is the responsibility and privilege God has given us to do – to serve Him by loving others.

This verse reminds us of how Jesus finished the work that God, our Father, sent Him to do. He taught God’s message of love and His truths. He made the glory of God known through His life and through the miracles He performed in His Father’s name. But most of all, He “endured the cross and suffered its scorn and shame” to fulfill the purpose and will of His Father. And then the Son of God returned to His heavenly home to sit “at the right hand of God’s throne” to await His return to earth to bring us to Him for all eternity.

God loved us enough to send His Son. He makes it possible for our hearts to be filled with love and joy – a joy that nothing in this world can ever compare or surpass.  How grateful we are for His grace, the gift of life, and all its many blessings.

 Prayer

Our most gracious and loving God, thank you for the joy that we find in you, especially during this Christmas season. May we focus our eyes on Jesus and His message of hope as we celebrate with family and friends. Thank you for your love and goodness to us. Amen

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