But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing and her people for gladness. I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; and there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying. —Isaiah 65:18-19
We’re now in the third week of Advent and this week’s theme is joy! I love the word “joy”—it’s so simple.
These verses from Isaiah are a great reminder that joy is more than just a happy feeling. By every definition I could find, joy or rejoice means “to take delight in.” These Isaiah verses tell us to take delight in what the Lord creates and that He created us for joy. My favorite part of these verses, however, is that they also tell us that God rejoices over us.
Not long ago, I was out shopping with my husband and one of the shop assistants said that she thinks the holidays are a bittersweet time. We briefly discussed how situations such as family members who have passed away can make the holidays take on that bittersweet feeling.
I understand that the holidays are difficult for some of us, but we weren’t created for sorrow—we were created for joy. We were created to take delight in the things God has created. Even in the midst of painful or difficult circumstances, there are still people and things that bring us joy. When I was young, that thing for me was reading books. Now that I’m older, I take joy in creation, my friends and family, and spending time with a God who knows everything about me.
I’ve been giving you girls two scriptures for each week of Advent, so this week I want to leave you with Galatians 5:22-25:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Girls, no one can tell you that you aren’t allowed to be joyful. Joy is one of the things that provide evidence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I know it isn’t always easy to have joy, but one thing we can do to allow the Spirit to produce more joy in our lives is to ask Him to change our perspective in difficult situations.
Joy is something that God gives to us freely. He sent His Son so that we could have joy. He put His Spirit in us so that we could produce joy! I hope in this holiday season, and all of next year, that you choose to allow the Holy Spirit to produce overflowing amounts of joy in your heart.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. —Romans 15:13
During the holidays, what brings you the greatest joy?
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