Are you the same person you were this time last year? Although at this moment I am sitting in the very same spot I was sitting in last year at this time, I can say – with absolute certainty – that I’m not the same person I was back then. And my family and friends are all very happy about that!
Because I’ve learned to live in Joyful Anticipation.
The first Gift of Joy The Lord gave me was knowing Who He is for me. He never allows trials without an opportunity to become more like Him. In fact, that’s His primary desire for us. That’s why James said to count it all joy when we face trials of all kinds (James 1:2-8). Because every Trial has both a Test and a Temptation.
- A test is God’s way of revealing who we are becoming in Christ.
- The temptation is to allow the enemy to convince us of who we are not.
The second Gift of Joy He gave me was knowing who He created me to be. All the physical evidence of my 2016 suggested that I’d wasted my life learning about love, teaching others how to love and be loved, and that I’d never enjoy love for myself.
The enemy’s goal is to get me to conclude that I am worthless in the Kingdom
– and to believe on a deeper level – that I am unwanted and unlovable.
Perhaps I was like Emma. She loved the idea of love. And played matchmaker to everyone in her community. Although she imagined romance for others, she couldn’t imagine it for herself. Yet all the while she was being prepared for her Mr. Knightly!
Knowing who I am created to be – and I’ve heard it from multiple sources, including from The Lord – could have filled me with joy and made my priorities clear. But during my 2016 sabbatical – when I had little opportunity to work – He had to remind me daily that He has a higher calling for me. Which always fills my heart with joy!
To be continued …
On the 9th Day of Christmas, my True Love gave me Joy.
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of The Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Ephesians 2:4-7)
Jesus is our True Love, and He’s the Reason we keep celebrating!
December 25th is the First Day of Christmas, not the last.
On the 9th Day of Christmas, my True Love gave me Joy (Nehemiah 8:10), New Life (2 Corinthians 5:17), Hope (Isaiah 40:31), Faithfulness. (Hebrews 10:23), Peace (John 14:27), Goodness (2 Peter 1:3-8), Truth (John 14:6), Forgiveness (Psalm 130), and Presence. (Matthew 1:23).