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  • Writer's pictureBill Berger

Advent Week 3: Joy

Dec 14 –

John 16:24 - "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete."

The scene is the night Jesus was to be arrested. Jesus has taught them and us how to pray, here he is imploring his disciples and all of us to ask and keep on asking. Sometimes it’s hard to know how or what to pray. There is no formula, Jesus is keeping it simple, just ask. In the same way, for Jesus to be our joy means that there is no room left for anything else, or anyone else, to add any more joy to our life! We're full! God wants us to be a joyful people, so full of the joy of the Lord that we don't have need for other things to ask for except to give us joy.  It is a true blessing to see God answer our prayers. It is a partnership that he desires even more than us. Our complete joy in the situation is a reflection of his own joy in us.

Question: Where in your life do you find it hard to ask for joy?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, help us to come to you about everything, knowing that your will for us is to give us the best we can each possibly have because you know what we require to have full, overflowing, real joy that will touch the hearts of others as well. In Jesus name, Amen.

Dec 15 –

John 15:11 - "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."

This passage helps us to understand that God's will and purpose for all of us is that we give our lives to him and allow fruit to be evident in everything that we do and speak. As we live this out, we experience His joy in our lives. It also reminds us that the joy of the Lord often comes through suffering and pain, but being united to Christ by faith in Him, gives the assurance that His grace is sufficient, for His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

Question: How would you handle pain and sorrow in a joyful, festive season?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You that the joy of the Lord is my strength. Help me to be comforted in You, always, so that I may be joyful, fruitful, and bring much glory to You. Help me see through the pain and suffering and focus on the joy that you have given. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Dec 16 –

Ecclesiastes 9:7 - "Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do."

This passage is powerful for us today. The author, Solomon has just said that the same destiny awaits us all. Our compulsion to understand and to control will fail while we are living on this earth. Life is a blessing, there is great reward available while we live. But life is also a burden. There is much we can’t understand. When we try, it is like attempting to grab vapor. Now that we have sufficiently acknowledged the paradoxical nature of our world, that God’s ways are higher than our ways, Solomon offers a reprieve. In the philosophical realm, comprehensive understanding is not available. Only futility. But if we are willing to live based on faith, life can be very good. Partaking of life in this manner is an act of faith. It is gratitude to God. So, carpe diem! 

Question: What places of sorrow and pain in your life can Jesus transform into joy?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, give me wisdom to make my life count. Thank You for the food You give me to eat. Increase the joy that results from Your provision and goodness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Dec 17 –

Psalm 16:11 - "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

God’s plan for our life involves fullness of joy in his presence. Walking with Him, enjoying Him. In the last phrase of this Psalm, “At your right hand are pleasures forever more.” The life God has for us is full of pleasures, and you take some of those pleasures, and there’s more. Take some of those pleasures, there’s more. Take some of those pleasures, there’s more! It will be forever. It’s not like life is worry-free, it’s more like it is Joy-FULL! There is infinite pleasure to be found in God.

Question: How does anxiety and worry rob you of Joy? 

Prayer: Dear Jesus. We praise you, for in your presence there’s fullness of joy where we’re just able to take and eat. Take and enjoy, the pleasures that are forever and ever and ever. Oh Lord, lead us in this path of life today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Dec 18 –

Luke 2:10-11 - "But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11: Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.'"

The birth of Jesus is good news for us. Let us receive it in faith. Jesus was born, and that changes everything. At Advent, God invites us to quit striving and grasping. The greatest news we could ever hear has broken our effort to do it all on our own. Joy is found in quieting our anxious heart and mind and turn it all over to our loving and gracious God.

Question: How does this famous announcement of ‘great joy’ make you feel today? 

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for the gift of joy that chases away all our fear. Fill our heart with that joy and fill our mind with wonder as we try to comprehend your love for us. Help us to share this joy with those who have not heard. Thank you that you offer grace to us through your son Jesus. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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