This is going to be a little bit different then my other 12 Days of Christmas blog posts. Guys we only have 9 days left till Christmas!! *starts freaking out because I haven’t bought a single present*
Joy, a word we hear so much during the Christmas season, but does it really hold any meaning? As Christians, we are called to be joyful. The word joy is mentioned roughly around 218 times in the Bible. The book of Philippians, which is written by Paul, it mentions joy or rejoice 16 times.
Now Paul, he did NOT have the easiest life.
2 Corinthians 11: 23b-28
I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.
Even after going through all this, he still had joy. He still rejoiced in his sufferings.
Christmas for some is a very hard time of year. However, through the grace of God, we have a way to get joy and to be thankful for all we have. God offers joy. As my pastor put it this morning, “Happiness is not a fruit of the Spirit, Joy is!” God doesn’t offer us comfort or happiness in life, He offers us Joy. Joy is a much better thing to have than happiness.
My pastor challenged us today with this:
Every time you see a joy sign, you stop and take a minute to pray and reflect the fact that Jesus came down as a baby to save us from our sins.
Jesus didn’t have to come and save us. He doesn’t need us, WE need Him. But because Jesus loves us so much, He came as the sacrificial lamb to die on the cross for our sins. That is something to have joy over!!! As the popular Christmas song goes:
Isn’t it amazing what the God of the Universe has done for us sinners, who deserve death?? I am still amazed and baffled at how much God has done for me.
As a few of you know, my dad has GBM (Glioblastoma) brain cancer. He has the worst brain cancer, at grade 4 (the worst grade for cancer). The average life spam for people with GBM is 12-18 months. My dad, this next February, is going on 4 years. To me that seems like such a long time because everyday we don’t know what will happen. He is doing perfectly fine now, sure he’s lost a few things because of brain surgery, but he still is doing better than anyone would have imagined.
Living with the fact that my dad will die with cancer frightens me at times, but then I take a look back at everything that God has done for my family in the last, almost, four years, and I realize that EVERYTHING is in His hands. He won’t take my dad until He wants to. I can’t live everyday in fear that maybe tomorrow will be the day that we discover that my dad’s cancer has come back. I have had to learn to give that fear over to God and He gives me the peace that I need when I am feeling discouraged.
However, this does not mean that I will not cry time to time when I am feeling down, I am an emotional teenager who needs a good cry very often. I have learned through the trial of my dad having cancer that we can be joyful at all times.
So if you or a loved one is feeling down this holiday season. Take a step back and look back at everything that God has done for you this year and years back. I guarantee you it will bring you joy, and if not just pray!! Pray works!!! He wants you to be in peace and have joy! He will give it to you if you ask.
Last but not least, here are a few songs that I love that mention joy in them!!
These are only a few songs, there are so many songs that mention joy and so many scriptures too. I am also always here to talk if you ever need to! I hope y’all have a joyful day and Christmas!