“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.” (1 Peter 1:8)

Rejoice! Joyful, Joyful! I bring you good news of great joy! The Christmas season is filled with words of joy. It is a pleasure to hear these wonderful words, sing them and repeat them during the Advent season. We read of joy in the prophecies about the birth of Jesus, in the events of his birth, and in the future hope we have because we trust in the one who was born in a stable 2000 years ago. Do we believe that we, as Christians, can have joy? True joy that is greater than the happiness this world offers? In this year’s Advent Devotional we will consider joy: what is it, and what is it not, where our joy comes from, and how we can know that we have it.

Dane Ortlund writes this: “The difference between a Christian life with or without joy is the difference between a boat being driven along by a tired oarsman or by a sail full of the wind… Joy is the fuel of the Christian life.”

Joy is not merely an emotion, but a heart affection that moves us to action. Joy is like light, radiating from God, through the life of his Son, Jesus, through the working of the Holy Spirit. Joy is a result of the presence of Jesus in our lives, as we grow to know the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As we come to know and experience joy more fully, I pray that we will grow as joyful followers of Jesus, rejoicing in every circumstance, during this Advent season!

Christmas blessings,

Pastor Craig

We invite you to participate in this year’s Advent Bible Reading and Devotional Guide – “Joy.” Guides are available starting November 23 at the Info Desk or by calling the office at 701.232.4476 to have one mailed to you. Click here if you would like to receive these daily devotions by email.