Sunday, December 12, 2010

Third Advent - Joy

Joy ... What is Joy ?

A dictionary defines it this way ... "The emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires -- delight"

I think that definition falls short of true joy!

I would like to define Joy as inspired by the little chipmunk in my photo !

* Joy comes from above.
* Joy is a gift that this world cannot offer. It offers fleeting moments of bliss, happiness, elation, delight -- but not lasting Joy !
* Joy must be received. God has offered us joy -- life in Him -- but we must reach out to take it!
* Joy is a focus. Not much can detract from real Joy. When Joy is the anchor of our life, we overcome our fears and distractions fade !

When I was looking through my photos to find a picture that depicted joy, I was not thinking about chipmunks but when I looked at the above photo I realized again how often God tucks a 'sermon' into His creation.

God wants us to filled with joy ! -- to live our lives out of a joy rooted deep into our hearts. A joy that is undisturbed, undistracted by the sorrows, difficulties, disappointments and frustrations of this world. Not that we don't feel those things -- but always we can be aware of the foundation of joy our hearts are grounded in.
Jesus said ... "These things I have spoken to you , that My joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full!" (John 15:11)

The little chipmunk in my object lesson knew very quickly where the 'joy peanuts' were coming from and ran to me for more!
When we recognize that our Joy comes from God - from Jesus the Saviour of this world, how easy is it to run to Him continually for all that we need. It is His Presence in us that fills us with Joy and the knowledge that in Him we can abide in Joy.

The angels proclaimed .. "Joy to the World!" That is God wish for us -- to be filled with Joy -- and how much reason we have to be joyful.... especially this Christmas season as we remember the great gift that came down from heaven to reconcile us to our heavenly Father -- if only we put our trust in Him.

May Joy fill your heart today and always !!
"Rejoice, and again I say Rejoice!" (Phil. 4:4)


ellen b. said...

Amen, amen Julie. Love the joy theme. Love that our savior was annointed with joy!!

Karin said...

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel!!

betty r said...

Julie, I like how you describe true joy.
Cute picture!

Bev K said...

Thank you for this timely reminder - it is so easy to lose our Joy amidst the bustle of the season. I'm so thankful for the inner joy Christ gives us that sustains us even in less than joyful times.

Anneliese said...

Isn't it great that God wants to give us joy? A joy deep down in our hearts to stay!