This is the third week of Advent with the bible study plan courtesy of Good Morning Girls. The topic this week is choosing joy.
As we’ve posted previously, a lot of people are hurting at this time and are finding it hard to choose joy. Whether they are grieving and mourning over the loss of a loved one, have health concerns, have not been able to find employment, the list goes on and on as to why people are struggling this holiday season. We have to make a conscious effort to choose joy every single day. It is hard, believe me, I struggle myself and am missing loved ones at this time, too. However, it is a time of celebration!
Do you realize that the enemy’s sole intent is to steal, kill, and destroy? He does not want us to celebrate this holiday season or ANY season, especially not because we are honoring Christ, Our Lord. Please do not let him win! He goes up against us at this time, in particular, because there are celebrations going on far and wide as people every where are celebrating the birth of Jesus! There are more celebrations during the month of December with Christmas parties, cantatas, and plays being performed in churches, just to name a few. It is hard to force a smile when our hearts are hurting. At this time, especially, I would like to encourage you to be intentional in your thinking. Be careful what you meditate on. If you find your thoughts trailing off down a negative path, grab the reigns and pull yourself back on the positive road instead. Try to stop the negative thought and focus on something a little more positive. It is easier said than done, I know. But, please at least try to be more aware of the thoughts that you are thinking throughout the day. Be careful with the negative self talk also as you can be your worst enemy at times. Would you speak to a friend the way you speak to yourself in your head? I think not! Why beat yourself up? Try to let go and let God at this time more than ever. Choose joy, dear ones. Please focus on the birth of a beautiful baby boy born in a lowly manger. How can your heart not smile at the thought of a precious little baby? Can you imagine looking into those beautiful eyes of baby Jesus and not smiling deep within our being? I know I can’t! Shift your focus to Jesus as I’m sure you’ve heard a million times before, He truly is the reason for the season! It’s true! He is!
Let’s look at some scriptures that Good Morning Girls picked out this week to help us focus on choosing joy.
And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10 NLT
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
More specifically for the holiday season:
When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! Matthew 2:10
The above verse is, of course, in reference to the star that appeared and lead the wise men to the manger where Jesus was laying shortly after His birth.
The birth of Jesus calls for celebration!
As we prepare our hearts and minds, I encourage you to choose joy. Even in the mist of your storm, even when your heart is hurting terribly, lift up your hands and praise God. Just praise Him. Thank Him for coming to this earth in the form of a tiny baby to bring His light into such a dark world.
Even if all you can do is cry at first, cry out to God. He will meet you there, and He will comfort you as only He can. Maybe a good cry is what is needed – let it flow. Allow those feelings to come, acknowledge them, feel them, and give them to God. He cares sooooo much for you! Jesus laid down His life for you. When His arms were stretched out and nailed to the cross, He was proving His love for you. Imagine Him saying, “This is how much I love you!” as His arms are stretched as wide as they will go. He did it for you and for me. He loves you, dear one. He loves you.
If you are having trouble finding joy this holiday season and need someone to pray for you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I will pray over each email. I will pray specifically for you. I may not be able to instantly restore your joy, but maybe it will help as you release some of what you are feeling. I will be here for you, and I will listen. I will pray.
Blessings to you and yours,
Light, Love, Hope