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Advent Week 3 - Joy

As I re-juggled my “to do” list of Christmas preparations, my thoughts bounced around the changes that have come and how Christmas will be somewhat different this year — good changes, challenging changes, hard changes — the interesting mosaic of life. It’s different for all of us, yet we all share in that changing landscape of life. Sometimes finding joy in the changes is easy. Other time it's very challenging.

As I pondered the changes in my life, and in our world, I thought about Christmas and the birth of Baby Jesus. Sometimes that manger scene seems so irrelevant and so far removed from day-to-day life. Yet an old verse in the Bible brought freshness to my soul this week as I pondered how the Baby Jesus impacts my life today. It truly gives new cause for joy — to stop and listen again.

“For unto us a child is born …and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Any need you have in life and in the changing landscape of your mosaic can be answered by Jesus. If you need wisdom or strength, He will be your Counselor. If you need a mountain moved, He is your Mighty God. If you need comfort, forgiveness and gentle healing, He is your everlasting Father; and if your heart is anxious and troubled, He will be Peace to you. Jesus is our rock and our hope — our cause for joy!

Let your heart pause with thankfulness as you prepare for Christmas. Look at the manger scene with the fresh wonder of all He is to you. Let joy seep into the changes of your life. No need or change that you face will not be met by Him. He is so much more than just a baby! Invite Him into your changes! Let joy fill your soul.

Here is a suggested prayer to increase your joy:

Heavenly Father, fill my heart with the fresh wonder of what that first Christmas means for me today. Thank you that today or in the future, any need I have can be encompassed by You, Jesus. Let joy flood into my soul as I lean on You to be my Wonderful Counselor, my Mighty God, my Everlasting Father, and my Prince of Peace! Help me to look with expectation to what You will do in my life and fill me with Your joy! In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Reprinted from Arthur: Gail Rodgers


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