Sow & Gather

How Is Our Joy Complete?

AdventMarci AnthonyComment
#joy #advent #sowandgater I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15:11

The Christmas Season is upon us! As I sit here this morning, the smell of pine is filling the air in my home.  As I glance across the kitchen, chocolate delights from dear friends cover my counter. Even my coffee creamer is flavored with the tastes of the season.    

From my experience, this season requires a plethora of smiles! And therein lies our problem, the smiles!  While much about the season forces a happy face, we all encounter times of mustering up smiles at times when it is a struggle. Do you ever find yourself faking it during this merriest of times? I DO!!  

It reminds me of one party in particular that my husband and I were hosting in our home at Christmas. To say that our preparation was crazy does not begin to describe the day of the party. From last minute trips to the grocery store to menu changes, there was a scurry of activity in our kitchen. All was completely thrown into bedlam when I decided it would be brilliant to turn on the dishwasher before the party AND USE LIQUID DISHWASHING SOAP. The bubbles escaped the dishwasher all over the floor. I cleaned up the mess quickly, threw on some clothes, lit some candles, and with the most plastered of smiles opened the door for my guests. That fake smile! 

Oh, my dear sweet friends, do you, like me have a desire to run from the fake smile this season? Do you have the desire to experience this season with a face that reflects REAL joy? God has given me a few thoughts on how to experience this complete joy that He spoke about while He was on earth. I invite you to meditate on these and allow God to use them to help you this season as they have helped me. 

 Recognize that happiness and joy are not the same.

Webster’s defines happiness as, “delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing.” Much delight is experienced during the holidays, but recognize that every day will not be one to celebrate. Excessive time commitments, financial struggles, memories of lost loved ones are just a few of the hurdles to gladness. While God’s Word mentions a happy attitude, His entire message is a message of joy; complete peace that transcends circumstance. Jesus literally came so that we could experience His complete joy. Happiness cannot be experienced all of the time due to circumstances, but joy CAN be experienced all of the time due to Jesus. 

Daily receive the gift of joy that God offers you.

Every single day, Jesus offers us a day walking with Him. Galatians 5:22, 23, 25 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control….Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Joy cannot be mustered and it isn’t even a response. Quite simply it is a result of “living in” and “walking with” the spirit of God. Receive that daily. 

Focus attention on receiving the gift of joy instead of creating happy moments.

There is such a tendency to focus on creating these magical moments for ourselves and our families during this season. Focus your attention on running to Jesus, rather than the moments of the season. Run to Him daily. Sit in the overwhelming covering of His grace, mercy and love every morning. Then, create all the happy moments you can. 

Ok sisters, let’s fight for joy this season. May your season be filled with REAL moments! 

Dig Deeper |

John 14-15. Understand while reading this, that these are the last words that Jesus spoke before He was crucified. These are the words that Jesus spoke so that we could experience His joy. 

Action Item |

Will you fight for joy in the presence of Jesus? or just be satisfied with happy moments instead of joy? 

Prayer |

Dear Jesus, I desire to experience your real joy. I know that you came so that your joy could be in me. Please protect my mind from the distraction of the season. Give me the courage to fight for time with You! Amen.

Join Us |

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.