Tuesday, Dec. 17 – Sarah Thomas

17 Dec

Tuesday, Dec. 17 – Joy

Today’s Scripture:
Isaiah 12; Romans 15:7-13

Things that I have learned about JOY:

Although happiness may come and go based on circumstances, because God’s Spirit lives in me, I believe that JOY lives in me.

Sometimes, when life is rough, I have to spend time with God (and with others who house God’s Spirit) in order to be reminded of the reality that JOY lives in me.

Even then, there are times when I don’t feel JOYFUL. In those times, I am able to wait it out and know that my feelings will pass and the truth of God’s JOYFUL Spirit will remain.

When people tell me that I need to “choose JOY” when I am in a funk (and find that I cannot see out of my pit and simply cannot seem to choose JOY for myself), I can relax. I rest in the fact that, because God has chosen me and because I have gratefully accepted His rescue and the life that follows, JOY has been chosen for me. In the same way that I cannot not rescue myself, manifest a sacrificial love for others on my own, or abide in peace through my own volition, I cannot fully experience God’s JOY without the work of His Spirit in my life. And His Spirit IS present and at work within me.

Even though my body may be continually breaking down, God’s Spirit within me is being renewed day by day, which leads me to think that the older I get, the more JOY and Peace and Love and Life I will experience (and hopefully will overflow onto those standing nearby).

JOY is the gift of glimpses into the truth of our reality with God—the reality that is already but not yet. The reality of life in His Kingdom that will one day be fulfilled completely. When Isaac throws his head back and laughs as he’s being tickled; when I look over and see Cindy Swicegood with a bright smile and her hands lifted in worship; when I breathe in deeply and smell the woods and hear the water flowing and the birds singing; when I look at my husband’s eyes crinkle at the edges as he laughs by a backyard fire with friends; when I look at the faces of my dear church family as we pray for one another; when I get to meet a new tiny member of our community for the first time; when I sit across the table from a time-tested friend and eat good food… What JOYFUL highlights amid a continually JOYFUL life! I’m praying that not only will you have many JOY-filled moments during this season, but also that you will revel in the truth that a steady life of JOY has been chosen for you.

-Sarah Thomas

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One Response to “Tuesday, Dec. 17 – Sarah Thomas”

  1. Danielle Burch December 17, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    I love what you said about how JOY is renewed daily, so we gain more and more through Christ each day, even as our earthly bodies decay… I never thought of it that way!

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