I know my joy comes from being in his presence. If there are things happening to take my joy, it is time for me to go back to the basics and get into His presence!
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” Psalm 16:11 NLT
I am assured that I have Jesus in me, I have received the gift of the Holy Spirit and will live with God forever. That’s the helmet of salvation, it will guard my mind, the apostle Paul advised us to put it on. My mind is protected by that thought, I can grab hold of it no matter what else is going on around me! Yes, the battle is spiritual, and, yes, the devil is roaming to and fro seeking whom he may devour. I choose joy, he will not get through that protection God has for me, as long as I put it on.
Last year our ladies group focused on the fruit of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I will not forget, fruit grows, it grows big and strong under the proper conditions. It is up to me to make sure the conditions are right for the fruit to grow and not only grow, but to remain healthy in my life.
This is the season we sing songs like Joy to the World, Joy (Unspeakable Joy), Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee; the joy the we all seek is found when we choose to put our priorities in the right place. As the brother of Jesus said,
“Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do it’s complete work, so that you may be mature, complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 HCSB
When we go through various trials, often the trial is not of God. It is most surely the result of sin. It may be self-induced or influenced from the outside, but it’s root would be from sin. Quite often the sin of pride. Sin, missing the mark, missing of God’s best, no matter what that sin is, most likely originated from pride. “I want this.” “I deserve better.” “Why should she have and I don’t?” Sin entered because of Eve’s temptation, being told by the serpent that she should have the knowledge. God knew from the beginning of time that all would sin and fall short of his Glory. He had a plan from the beginning of time, that plan included a savior. That savior came in the form of a sweet innocent little miracle, a baby, Jesus.
“The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.
But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
See, the virgin will become pregnant
and give birth to a son,
and they will name Him Immanuel,
which is translated “God is with us.” Matthew 1: 20-23 HCSB
Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus, the Messiah, the Redeemer, promised so many years before his birth. I trust him! I trust him to be the source of my joy, even when I can’t seem to find it, it’s there because he is so good and cares about every detail of my life. I hold on to and am assured that he who began a good work in me will complete it until the end, and, that all things work together for the good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose.
He cares about every detail of your life too!
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17
May you be blessed at knowing who you are and who’s you are. May you be held in the loving arms of the one we celebrate this season! Joy to you and your family.