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Joy at this time should be easy, shouldn’t it? Christmas music is playing, lights and decorations abound and everyone is feeling “Christmassy”. I mean it’s just the most wonderful time of the year…of course until you find yourself shouting at the self checkout machine saying there’s no unexpected item in the baggage area. Or the car you gave way to, takes the last car park at the mall…

Joy can quickly start to evaporate. Or is really joy? Maybe the joy that we celebrate at Christmas has a little more to it than an emotion based on favourable circumstances. In fact, CS Lewis called it “The serious business of Heaven”

Joy is defined as a “triumph, cheerful and a calm delight, a deep feeling of contentment.” Some have described it as “the feeling of grinning inside.” It is something that resides beneath the surface. Joy is not happiness which is a feeling and comes and goes. It is also not based on our circumstances. As someone once said “joy is not in things, it is in us.”

And As Christians we have access to a joy that exists regardless of what our circumstances are like. Jesus said “I have come that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10)

Our breakthrough to Joy comes when we magnify God in our lives, our circumstances. To put the name of Jesus above all. To focus on Him over everything else. When we lift our eyes off our circumstances and onto God, we can find strength for our days and yes joy.

“Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of Jesus.” 

It is God who is the source of our joy. Circumstances change – we have good days, we have bad days but God and His love never changes. Choosing joy is being able to see God’s goodness even when life is hard and messy.

Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.

“For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10)