On Joy

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, through there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”                                                         Habakkuk 3:17 – 18


This is the third week of Advent.  In this week we light the candle of Joy.  While all the other candles are typically purple, this one is pink or rose.  Why…because pink or rose is the liturgical color for joy.  And so we are three weeks into Advent.  We are, as of today, 9 days away from Christmas day.  We are in a season of cold (unless you live in Florida). We are in the midst of shorter days and longer nights.  This is a time when tempers flare when we can’t find what we are looking for or we don’t have enough time to get everything on our to do lists done.  Instead of joy we feel everything but.

And yet this third week of Advent asks us to think about joy…to celebrate joy…to be filled with joy.

I believe our struggle with joy is that we define joy in a way that is unattainable. We can’t sustain those happy, over the moon ecstatic feelings of joy for the long haul.  Life can be difficult at times and acting happy in the face of adversity or a hard season in life would be inappropriate.  But we can still have joy. It is why I chose the verses from Habakkuk to talk about Joy.  Because from a Biblical standpoint joy is something we can have every day and in all circumstance.  I like Rick Warren’s definition: “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”  I think that says it all.

May you be filled with Joy throughout this Advent season and in all the seasons of your life.




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