Advent Devotional 3: Joy

Dollar stores are enticing places for many. The happy lure of so many low-priced items is hard to resist, but in the end often disappoints.

Other than a few products that hold up over time, most of these purchases seem to wear out quickly or break. Any happiness is quickly replaced with the regret of not investing more than a buck on something that will last.

When it comes to our lives, most people are pursuing this feeling of happiness, only to find that it doesn’t last.

The work promotion makes us believe that it’s smooth sailing- until the full weight of the position is revealed in the first staff meeting…

Purchasing the latest phone seems satisfying-only until you find out two new versions have been released since you opened the box…

A relationship that was supposed to make both your dreams come true now feels more like a nightmare…

We use up all our emotional energy, time, and resources in a belief that the thing we’re pursuing will truly give us a lifetime of happiness. God wants us to experience something better than happiness. He wants us to experience a life filled with JOY!

Joy is a deep peace, based on what we know to be true, resulting in a fullness of life. Read how Peter describes this joy when addressing scattered Christians.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (I Peter 1:8-9)

These people literally had nothing to their names, but they still had an inexpressible and glorious joy. Why? It wasn’t the result of things or circumstances, but it came from a real relationship with our Lord Jesus. As a matter of fact, these early Christian communities were known for their joy.

“They ate together in their homes, happy to share their food with joyful hearts. They praised God and were liked by all people.” (Acts 2:46-47)

Wow! Not only does this joy not melt in the face of difficulty, but it also becomes a significant trait of true community—that all can see!

What can you do today to pursue joy rather than a cheap happiness?
(Hint: it starts with knowing Jesus more.)

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