Devotional

“For seven days you must celebrate this festival to honor the Lord your God at the place he chooses, for it is he who blesses you with bountiful harvests and gives you success in all your work. This festival will be a time of great joy for all.” – Deuteronomy 16:15. 

Is there any better feeling than the intense feelings of satisfaction and joy? Take a moment and reflect on what causes those moments of satisfaction and joy. Are those moments created internally or do we need external help? Or both? One thing is certain, everyone is looking for joy. Everyone wants it and seeks after it, but can we deliver it? And if not, who can? Reading through scriptures, we see that joy is important.

Real joy comes from God, who sought us, found us, and keeps us. He has poured out His love through the Holy Spirit whom He has given us. Romans 5:5 says, “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”  Joy comes from God, not from within. When we look within, we see joy in all the wrong places. We have joy only when we look outside ourselves to Christ. Joy is not something we can conjure up.

The joy offered by God joy is different than the one promised at a local restaurant or amusement park. God is not interested in putting a temporary smile on your face. He has no interest in giving you shallow happiness that melts in the heat of adversity. Rather, He offers you a deep-seated, heart-felt, honest-to-goodness, resilient sense of joy that can weather the storms in our lives. 

Peter referred to this in 1 Peter 1:8-9: “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.”

Christmas is a time of great joy. It begins by receiving the great gift which brought joy to the heart of the Father in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.  “…But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them”  (John 1:12 TLB) How can I experience the “peace on earth”’ and “joy” during Christmas with so much busyness leading up to the holiday? The answer lies in Jesus Christ alone. Joy in your heart, in your personal life, is part of the gift of Christmas, the gift which difficulty, or pain, or even loneliness should never take from you. Christmas joy is the abiding presence of a living Christ.  In 2020, we need to believe in that joy.

What Jesus said to his followers, He says to you. “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:11).

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever felt the peace and joy of the Lord in surprising ways? How? 
  2. Read John 15:9-12. Jesus wants us to have His joy and the fullness of His life. What is His joy? What can we do this week to have that kind of joy?