The Advent season is full of anticipation as we look forward to the time when we celebrate the arrival of our Savior. There are many words that come to mind when we consider the Advent season, but few words encapsulate this time of year better than joy.
When I was a child, I remember being full of joy as we looked forward to Christmas. From a child’s view, Christmas is exciting first and foremost because of presents. We give gifts, but even more, we receive them, so a child thinks. As we mature in Christ, we come to recognize the deeper joy that is found in the Advent season, and that is the sense of security that comes with knowing we have the privilege of enjoying the presence of Christ.
From a childlike perspective, receiving gifts is the pathway to joy, but as we mature in our faith, Jesus’ presence is the source of our joy. When we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness, our prospect is joy. It could be said that joy is the fruit of a life lived in Christ. Through Jesus’ incarnation, He can identify with our humanity, and through His resurrection, we can identify with His victory. As we live our lives according to the righteousness of Christ, we experience life to the fullest, a life that is rightly ordered.
When I consider my life, there have been wonderful times and more difficult times, but there is a security that comes from joy in Christ that transcends changing circumstances. Whenever I look to myself and this world for lasting satisfaction, it leaves me empty, but when I look to Jesus, He makes me joyful.
Joy is not the absence of difficulty but the contentment we have in Christ, and it is available to us even when life is not going as planned. As we progress through this Advent season, let us not forget where joy is found. It is not found in the presents we exchange, but it is found in the presence of Christ. He is our righteousness, and “the prospect of the righteous is joy.”
Pray with me-
Heavenly Father, thank You for the joy You have made available to us through Your Son, Jesus Christ. This Advent season, we ask that You give us the grace we need to maintain our joy regardless of our circumstances. We thank You for the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, and we ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to operate in and through us as we spend precious time with family and friends. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“The hope of the righteous is gladness, But the expectation of the wicked perishes.”
Proverbs 10:28 NASB1995
Read Luke chapter 9
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