By: Anne Ferrell Tata
“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)
As we celebrate the third week of Advent, we light the Joy candle. There is no greater joy than knowing our Heavenly Father. Christmas is such a sweet reminder of the lengths He went to bring us joy. God sent His Son to earth as a baby so that we could possess a deep-rooted joy that exists beyond our circumstances.
Joy is far different than happiness. Unlike happiness, joy isn't dependent on wealth, circumstances, season of life, relationship status, the opinions of others or another person or situation. Joy is based solely on our proximity to Jesus. It's in His presence where we find unspeakable joy.
King David understood this brand of joy! The Book of Psalms is filled with David's praise and thanksgiving for the Lord. In Psalm 28:7, David says, “The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”
David trusted God to show him the way of life. He recognized the pure joy of God's presence and the delight of living with Him forever in eternity. His only response was gratitude. When our hearts our filled with the joy only Jesus can bring, we have no choice but to praise and thank Him for everything He means to us.
Like King David, we can know the same joy. Abundant life, peace, protection and guidance are found in the presence of the Lord.
This Christmas, I believe joy is ours for the taking. Come close to the manger, and take great delight in the baby lying in the hay. Sure, your circumstances may be hard this holiday season. Finances might be tight. Relationships might be strained. Desires might be unmet. But nothing can change the joy available to us through Jesus.
Reflect and Respond:
1. Can you identify with King David? Share a time with the Power of Worship community when you've discovered joy in Jesus.
2. How can you stay close to Jesus this week? Carve out some time to be in His presence through prayer and ask Him to fill your heart with unspeakable joy.