We are entering into a season of Thanksgiving and celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. While many have their minds on other things, like their jobs, sickness and all the other fears that are toxic in our nation, this is still a time to celebrate and acknowledge Jesus Christ.

As I was thinking about this today, I realized something important.   There is a grace to walk through this season, as I have shared before.  But not only a grace to walk through and survive it, but a grace to walk through with Joy in the Lord and to thrive through it.

Like many of you, I have had some really hard hits lately.  I suppose I could feel distraught and defeated, but I don’t.  I feel God’s grace upon me.  And I feel joy.

The joy was unexpected.

The moment I realized I had joy, I was delightfully surprised.  Almost like a little kid.

Did Jesus not tell us to come to Him as a child?  That’s exactly how it feels.

Children are amazing.  They are resilient.  Most of the time they are full of joy and laughter – literally bouncing through life.

My little Brailee can be upset one minute and the next minute she is back to laughing and having a blast.  We adults need to take a lesson from them.

Another thing I notice about children is it doesn’t take a lot to make them happy.  Every little thing brings them joy.

One day this week, I stopped at Hobby Lobby and picked up a small thing for Brailee.  Nothing big – but boy! It got a big response.  When I gave it to her, she jumped up and down, shouting, “It feels like an early Christmas!”  She was filled with joy.

The question then is…why are we not?

Yes, crazy things are going on in the world.  Some days it seems as if people have lost their minds.  There are challenges.  Hinderances.  Needs.  How can we have joy in all that?

Easy.  Our joy does not come from this world.  Our joy comes from the Lord.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit – a fruit of Holy Spirit dwelling in us. It doesn’t come from circumstances.  It doesn’t come from blessings.  It is something on the inside of us that we must tap into – we must CHOOSE to tap into.

We can also pray for a filling of joy – as we see in Romans 15:13.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

My friends, I do not know what you are facing today.  I don’t know what you are walking through.  But this I do know; you can have joy.  It is in you.  Stir it up – lean into it.  Make a firm decision that you are not only going to have joy but that you are going to spread joy everywhere you go. Joy unspeakable and full of glory.

 

 

Appoint My Days

I dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He is my refuge and fortress; I will trust in Him. He will deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from perilous pestilence. A thousand may fall at my side, and ten thousand at my right hand, but it shall not come near me. No evil will befall me, nor any plague come nigh my dwelling. God will give His angels charge over me to keep me in all my ways and bear me up in their hands. God will be with me in trouble and deliver me.

Psalm 91