Posted by: pastordarren | December 17, 2017

A Journey to Joy

Isaiah 61:1-3 – The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

This third Sunday of Advent is focused on the Journey to Joy.  Too often we connect joy and happiness when in reality they are not the same thing.  Happiness is usually based on feelings, on circumstances being pleasant, on things being the way we want them to be.  Joy, on the other hand, can be experienced and received even when things are not as we feel they should be.

The text from Isaiah above, which Jesus reads and says it is fulfilled in Him (Luke 4:18-21), tells us about Joy.  No one wants to be brokenhearted, captive, mourning, etc.  Yet, as this text is fulfilled in Jesus’ life and ministry, we are lead through the darkness, through the illness, through the mourning knowing that Jesus walks with us.

We are waiting to for the better things to happen; freedom, healing, light; yet because Jesus is there and we have faith in Him, we have joy in the midst of the journey, we have joy not because of our circumstances, but because of WHO is with us and WHO walks with us through life.  As we walk in joy, trusting in Jesus, we then show God’s glory and splendor to all who see.

Prayer:

Gracious God, You know that going through life is not easy and You never said it would be.  You did send Jesus to walk with us and show us a better way to live our lives.  A way that brings Joy and shows others Your glory.  Help us today to live lives of Joy as we trust and walk with you.  Amen.

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