Follow:
Truth

How to have joy when Christmas doesn’t feel joyful

 

 

I recently made a list of things that spark joy in my life.  I tried not to overthink it and as I wrote them down I found myself smiling and feeling grateful.  Life holds a lot of simple pleasures that contribute to our joy:  good food, good sleep, good conversations, helping others, obedient children–these were a few of the items on my list.  Next I made a list of the things that spark joy for me during the holidays:  decorating the tree, baking cookies, having people into our home, finding and giving the perfect gift, wrapping presents, and sitting by the tree listening to Christmas music.  

There are also things during the holidays that threaten to rob me of joy.  Most are situations that are out of my control: an item I’ve been looking to purchase is sold out and won’t be back in stock until mid-January, sickness interferes with holiday travel or party plans.  This year we were having fun choosing a tree from the little hardware store down the street when Jennavieve decided to mix up a bin of nails and throw a handful down the aisle of the store.  What had been a pleasant experience was instantly tainted by a moment of disobedience.  It’s in situations like this or when I’m caught up in the hustle of getting things done in time for Christmas that I find myself struggling to feel joy.

 

This bothers me.  And it probably should.  Discontentment didn’t make the cut as one of the characteristics of a believer and joyless living isn’t something we’re told to pursue.  

 

Why does my joy shift so easily?  What would it take for joy to be a constant response in the midst of the ordinary stuff of life, even when met with struggles that I didn’t expect and don’t want?

 

I think there is an answer in the Advent story and it begins with the first recorded encounter with Jesus.

 

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.  And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.  And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.’  (Luke 1:39-45)

 

Both of these women were facing life circumstances vastly different from what they had expected.  Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah the priest, had been barren for many years, but now in her old age was pregnant with a son who would ‘turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God’ (Luke 1:15-17). She had spent the past five months in hiding with a husband whose disbelief in God’s plan had left him unable to speak (Luke 1:20).  This is probably not what she had anticipated for the latter years of her life.  

 

Mary, an unmarried young woman who was now pregnant with the Son of God, was living in obedience to God’s plan, but it was not without difficulty.  Her own fiance’ had been tempted to disown her (Matthew 1:19) and as an unwed pregnant woman, she was surely met with disgrace and contempt.  As willing as Mary was to receive this task of carrying and raising Jesus as her son, she did not ask for it.

 

When these women encounter one another in the midst of their unexpected circumstances the immediate response of John the baptist–from Elizabeth’s womb–is one of joy.  

 

John knew that he was in the presence of the Son of God.  He knew that Jesus was the lamb of God who had come to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).  And the truth about Jesus–who he was and what he would do–caused John to be filled with joy.

 

Just as John the baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:15), those of us who are in Christ have been given the Spirit and he is at work in us producing fruits that display themselves in our lives.  One of these gifts is joy (Galatians 5:22-23).  It’s not an if or a maybe.  Joy will be produced and evident.

 

The joy that Jesus came to bring is from outside this world. It is the very joy that Jesus himself has in God the Father— which he has had from all eternity and will have forever.  (John Piper)

 

Yes.  Joy is in the eternal, in Jesus Himself and this we know, but it doesn’t always feel this way.  Sometimes we know the truth but our hearts lag behind.  When this happens, joy becomes something for which we must fight.

 

Because, oh, how wrong, how sad, when we stand before great wonders and feel nothing.  (John Piper)

 

Sometimes we lose sight of the source of our joy because we’re too consumed by our struggles with inconveniences, interruptions, heartache, and the brokenness of this world.  And it is in the midst of these moments that we must turn away from the momentary troubles that press us down and fix our hearts and minds on Jesus.

 

fountain of water

 

Advent offers us an opportunity to stand before Jesus and be changed.  As we focus on his character the wonder we once had in Jesus is renewed.  As we think on the work that he accomplished on the cross we can’t help but be filled with joy that we have been adopted as sons and can now call God Father.  We have been given an inheritance that is imperishable and incorruptible, and it is in this–even while in the midst of trials–that Peter reminded us to rejoice (1 Peter 1:3-6).  

 

Our minds are renewed and our spirits are transformed from apathetic thoughts or misplaced affections to delight in the gift of Jesus.

 

Encountering Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit will always produce joy.  

 

fountain of water

 

This is part 2 of a series:  Encounters with Jesus:  An Advent Devotional Series

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like

42 Comments

  • Reply glenna

    Love this, Lauren. A good reminder of where our joy should be sourced.

    December 2, 2016 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    Thank you for this timely reminder, Lauren! What a blessing to my heart!

    December 3, 2016 at 9:05 pm
  • Reply laurenwasher.com - Encounters with Jesus, An Advent Devotional Series

    […] Part 2 : How to have joy when Christmas doesn’t feel joyful […]

    December 4, 2016 at 3:52 pm
  • Reply laurenwasher.com - A look at the shepherds & what happens when we receive the word of God

    […] and even small irritations that Satan wants to use to pit us against God.  Just as we sometimes have to fight for joy, we also need to fight to believe.  We have to take the sword of the Spirit and remind ourselves […]

    December 9, 2016 at 8:59 am
  • Reply HenryHib

    No need to work anymore while you have the Robot launched!
    Link – https://tinyurl.com/y7t5j7yc

    August 11, 2020 at 9:38 pm
  • Reply RobertNow

    В наше время, кальян является не просто модным девайсом, но и средством приятного времяпровождения с компании друзей.

    Однако для не опытного человека может возникнуть ряд трудностей при выборе как кальяна, так и табака, однако речь идет не только о разнообразии вкусов, но и крепости.

    Подобрать табак самостоятельно, Вам поможет данная статья. Она подскажет какую крепость выбрать и как подобрать качественный товар.

    В первую очередь, Вам нужно знать то, что все табачные смеси для забивания кальяна, изготовлены примерно из идентичных табачных листов.

    где купить табак ночью

    В состав каждой смеси входят такие компоненты как :

    1. глицерин

    2. патока

    3. мед или сахарный сироп

    4. ароматизаторы

    5. и самое главный компонент – табачный лист.

    Именно различие последнего и самого важного компонента поможет Вам разобраться и ориентироваться в вариациях табака.

    Всего в мире насчитывается около 60 вариантов табака, однако при производстве кальянной смеси используют только 4 вида:

    1. Вирджиния голд – самый популярный вид табака. В то же время он является лучшим для людей, которые только начинают свое знакомство с кальяном. Данный табак не слишком крепкий и он имеет характерный сладковатый привкус, благодаря этим особенностям, при курении кальян будет легким, а смесь будет иметь более яркий и приятный вкус.

    2. Ориентал – Данный табак подойдет людям, которые хотят меньшее содержание никотина. Данный табак используют для приготовления самых мягких кальянов.

    3. Берли – данный табак не так популярен, как предыдущие и он так же реже встречается на прилавках магазина. Он не подойдет для новичка, однако для более опытных в самый раз. Этот табак имеет значительное преимущество над всеми разновидностями табака – он достаточно крепок и прекрасно впитывает и передает во время курения насыщенный аромат и вкус.

    4. Мэриленд – средний крепости табак американского производства. Имеет приятные вкусовые качества.

    August 11, 2020 at 9:44 pm
  • Reply HenryHib

    The additional income is available for everyone using this robot.
    Link – https://tinyurl.com/y7t5j7yc

    August 11, 2020 at 10:58 pm
  • Reply StephenCarse

    вавада casino

    скачать вавада

    August 11, 2020 at 11:25 pm
  • Reply HenryHib

    Looking forward for income? Get it online.
    Link – https://tinyurl.com/y7t5j7yc

    August 11, 2020 at 11:25 pm
  • Reply Timothyrex

    сол казино онлайн официальный сайт

    sol casino бездепозитный бонус за регистрацию

    August 11, 2020 at 11:40 pm
  • Reply DanielChodo

    пин ап казино официальный сайт играть

    казино pin up играть на реальные деньги

    August 11, 2020 at 11:40 pm
  • Reply Joshuabuh

    вулкан слотс онлайн казино

    vulkan slots игровые автоматы

    August 11, 2020 at 11:55 pm
  • Reply RichardRom

    вулкан slots

    vulkan slots зеркало

    August 11, 2020 at 11:59 pm
  • Reply HenryHib

    The financial Robot is your # 1 expert of making money.
    Link – https://tinyurl.com/y7t5j7yc

    August 12, 2020 at 2:51 am
  • Reply MatthewFlawn

    come perdere la pancia

    August 12, 2020 at 3:30 am
  • Reply Matthewguepe

    казино х бесплатно

    casino x доступное

    August 12, 2020 at 3:42 am
  • Reply DonaldArowl

    Guys just made a web-page for me, look at the link:
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnewworkcity.ru/serebryanye-kuvshiny-chem-horoshi-i-kogda-ispolzuyutsya/ Tell me your guidances. Thank you.

    August 12, 2020 at 3:52 am
  • Reply AnnaDeduk

    http://odivanax.ru

    August 12, 2020 at 4:13 am
  • Reply MichaelBef

    фирменный сайт
    https://sexreliz.net/roman/1479-molodoj-paren-so-zreloj-zhenschinoj.html

    August 12, 2020 at 5:32 am
  • Reply ScottFet

    Guys just made a website for me, look at the link:
    http://bestideya.mystrikingly.com/ Tell me your credentials. Thank you.

    August 12, 2020 at 5:33 am
  • Reply Travismof

    cbd hemp oil for sale: cbd oil – cbd store

    August 12, 2020 at 7:42 am
  • Reply HenryHib

    One dollar is nothing, but it can grow into $100 here.
    Link – – https://tinyurl.com/y7t5j7yc

    August 12, 2020 at 8:15 am
  • Reply HowardVeime

    Sealy Multi-Use Liner Pads with Waterproof Liner, 2 Pack

    Pull Back Pick Up Trucks – 12 per pack

    August 12, 2020 at 8:27 am
  • Reply HenryHib

    Start making thousands of dollars every week.
    Link – https://plbtc.page.link/zXbp

    August 12, 2020 at 8:53 am
  • Reply Josephjousy

    лечение алкоголизма в стационаре цены – лечение героиновой наркомании, реабилитация алко и наркозависимых

    August 12, 2020 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply HenryHib

    Check out the newest way to make a fantastic profit.
    Link – https://tinyurl.com/y7t5j7yc

    August 12, 2020 at 1:09 pm
  • Reply EddieCar

    Hi there! cost of iv lasix buy generic lasix online

    August 12, 2020 at 1:17 pm
  • Reply MichaelImift

    888 казино русский

    888 casino РѕР±Р·РѕСЂ

    August 12, 2020 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Caseykig

    check this link right here now darknet markets

    August 12, 2020 at 1:31 pm
  • Reply wadetd4

    College Girls Porn Pics
    http://sexmovieshemale.shemalebbmpin.energysexy.com/?rocio

    porn on 4shared kink porn foto porn 2007 jelsoft enterprises ltd jerry reed gay porn star puppy kibble ten porn

    August 12, 2020 at 1:45 pm
  • Reply DavidMet

    additional info darknet

    August 12, 2020 at 1:59 pm
  • Reply Curtisweatt

    купон яндекс директ альфа банк – купоны гугл адвордс 2020 купить, промокод яндекс директ 3000 3000

    August 12, 2020 at 2:19 pm
  • Reply Andrewnak

    site here hydra

    August 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm
  • Reply HenryHib

    Money, money! Make more money with financial robot!
    Link – https://tinyurl.com/y7t5j7yc

    August 12, 2020 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply DennisHup

    лучшие курсы по подготовке к егэ онлайн – егэ 2020 центр, подготовка к егэ репетитор

    August 12, 2020 at 2:41 pm
  • Reply HenryHib

    Let the financial Robot be your companion in the financial market.
    Link – https://tinyurl.com/y7t5j7yc

    August 12, 2020 at 3:34 pm
  • Reply igorTtampa

    anvelope-moldova.md

    August 20, 2020 at 8:08 pm
  • Reply HowardVeime

    American Baby Company 100% Natural Cotton Muslin Swaddle Blanket, Whales, 47″ x 47″, Soft Breathable, for Boys and Girls

    Organic Socks, 8pk (Baby Boys or Baby Girls Unisex)

    August 22, 2020 at 12:11 pm
  • Reply MatthewFlawn


    August 27, 2020 at 6:04 am
  • Leave a Reply