This week we will be looking at the joy that we have because of the Advent.
One of Messiah’s names is Emmanuel – God with us. Jesus, God’s Son, entered the world He created, and showed us how to live fully.
The Apostle Paul, in the beginning of his letter to the Christ-followers at Colossae, writes with a joyful heart to those who are also followers of Jesus, who share in God’s redemption of us through Jesus:
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.(Colossians 1:3-14, English Standard Version)
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
It’s important to distinguish between happiness and joy. Happiness is based on circumstances, and comes and goes according to our current situation. Conversely, joy is not based on circumstances, but on relationship with God. Joy is something that happens deep within us, often accompanied by gratitude to God.
How good it is to walk with God, and experience His goodness. Even in hard times, we can sense God’s pleasure in us and toward us, not because God immediately lifts us out of those hard times, but because He walks with us through those hard times.
The hymn “Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee” is often accompanied by all the grandeur of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with full orchestra and voices. In this season, here’s a quiet, worshipful rendition of this classic hymn that I found to be a solace for my soul:
In this Advent season, may you experience God’s joy as you worship Him.