Posted by: pastortomvabeach | November 19, 2013

Thought For The Week November 24, 2013

I was thinking about the fact that this week-end is the beginning of the holiday season. We always try to focus on our gratitude for all God has done over the previous year on the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving Day. We ask those in church that Sunday to share short stories of what God has done or shown them so we all can share in giving Him thanks. The service jump starts our season of remembering God’s goodness in caring enough about the world to send Jesus.

As I thought about this a word jumped into my heart – joy. The angel who appeared to the shepherds in Luke 2:10 said, Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. By my unscientific count in Strong’s Concordance “joy” and its derivatives (joyous, joyful, etc.) appear around 200 times in the Bible. The verbal form “rejoice” and its derivatives, which I didn’t count occupy at least as many lines in the concordance. What that says is that joy is throughout the Scripture.

I know Christmas is still more than a month away but joy is a big part of the celebration of this most wonderful season of the year. The initial news that would bring great joy to all people, was that there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11) God made the move, sent His Son into the world to bring people (us) back to Himself. Jesus the Savior was born! This is more than enough reason for joy!

Jesus later told us that in telling us divine truth (His words) we could have His joy and it would stay in us (These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11). Still later James said that we can even have joy when things are not going so well (My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, James 1:2). This is encouraging because reality tells us that in a fallen world everything will not always be a bed of roses. But when trouble comes God is there filling us with joy despite the situations.

All these thoughts came to me and I wondered how much better the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas would be if we considered every day all the things that we have from God that bring us joy. Even when I’m struggling I can be joyful knowing Jesus has saved me, given me hope, forgiven my sins, but there is much more. When life gets me down I remember God has given me a beautiful, caring, loving, and sweet wife who loves me; He’s allowed me to see my children grow up and get to experience the love of grandchildren; He let me live in a country where clean drinking water and sanitation are the standard; He’s connected me with what I believe to be the best group of God fearing, Jesus loving, Bible believing people anywhere; and I get to love them! Joy unspeakable and full of glory!

I urge you, dear reader, let this season truly be a season of joy for you. Every day think about something you now have or something you’ve experienced in life that brings you joy. Let that thought turn you in gratitude to the One who gave you His own joy and then rejoice that you get to celebrate again the Reason for the Season. Just a thought.

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