Advent: Week 3: The Candle of Joy

If you’ve been around the church, you have heard acrostics like JOY stands for “Jesus, then Others, then You”. Such a true statement! It does bring joy when we get our priorities in order!
But more times than most, life comes with its pressures, some self-imposed and others not, and we seem to sense a loss of joy.
Can I be joyous all the time? If so, how in the world can I experience it all the time?
Well, let’s first define JOY. Joy is a concrete confidence in who God is, what He will do for you, and who you are because of Him, so that no matter what you experience on your path, you know that God will use it for your good and His glory.
So how do we get it and keep it?
Psalm 16:11 says “In Your presence there is fullness of joy!
If you are not full of joy, perhaps you have forgotten the power of His presence with you. If I were sitting and talking with you and you said “I am joy-less.” What if I responded with “Who told you that?” What would your reaction be?
No one told you that you were joy-less except you or the devil. And neither of those are very reliable. One is conjured up based on feelings. The other is out to kill, steal, and destroy you.
What are you allowing your fleshly, emotional thoughts or the enemy to tell you about yourself?

Get in God’s Presence.

Circumstances don’t have to determine whether you have joy or not. Mary and Joseph didn’t have the nicest of circumstances in which to birth the Christ child and yet, there was fullness of joy!

Start reminding your soul (“why are you downcast, oh my soul?”) of God’s Presence and what that means! God’s presence is with you; so His provision, His compassion, His unfailing love, His guidance, His peace; ALL of who He is is with you!!!
Here’s another Scripture verse. John 15:9-11 says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
According to these verses in John 15, if we listen to the Father’s voice, remaining in Him, and following exactly what He tells us to do, HIS joy will be in us and that joy is a COMPLETE joy! Wow!

Stay in God’s Presence.

A friend and mentor described it like this: someone may not be acting very kindly or doing what is right, and you don’t have to choose to return evil for evil, but you can actually stand there with a smile on your face, because you know who God is and you know what He will do for you as His child. Just remain in a constant awareness of His Presence and follow His leading, and you will have an inner joy that noone and no circumstance can take away!

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