Have you ever struggled to find joy during Christmas? I know I have.
Over the years there have been may Christmas seasons where I lost my joy. Some of the reasons behind the lack of joy during Christmas' past were: the loss of a loved one, not enough money to pay my bills, sickness in my body, my husband serving on deployments, and being far away from family and friends.
But you know what? I realized that while the circumstances that I named above were not fun nor joyful in and of themselves, I set out to find joy no matter what. As I began to seek God and ask Him to help restore my joy, I was reminded where my joy comes from. And that, my dear sisters, is why I try to focus my heart solely upon the One who gives me joy unspeakable - Jesus.
While grieving is and feeling down are a natural part of life, God doesn't want us to stay there forever. God wants us to be full of joy more often than not. Today I am going to share with you four ways to find joy this Christmas, even if your circumstances are not presenting joy.
4 Ways to Find Joy This Christmas
1. In God's Word
If there is one place that I have found complete joy during my darkest hours in life, it has been solely while spending time reading the Bible. There are so many wonderful promises in God's Word, I can't help but walk away with hope and joy after reading it. It never disappoints.
Because the word of God is living and active it shows me exactly what the intent of my heart is (Hebrews 4:12). By knowing exactly what is inside of my own heart, I am able to ask God to help me remove the obstacle and focus on what really matters most. This has helped me to find joy in any situation. While it isn't always easy, God will meet us right where we are at and He will fill us with the oil of joy!
2. Through Loving Others
Loving other people is something that gives me great joy. There is nothing like knowing God is using you to help build someone up so they can continue to walk out the call of God upon their lives. When we are able to walk in love with others, not only do we make them "feel" good, we also are modeling the ultimate gift from God.
God is love (1 John 4:8) and it was His love that compelled Him to send Jesus to earth to pay the price for our sin. This is something to be joyous about! Remember to focus on loving others when you are tempted to feel sad. This will help restore your joy.
3. In Prayer
Having intimate, daily conversations with our Heavenly Father is a wonderful way to be filled with His joy. There is nothing like talking and listening to the One who created you and who has seen your destiny from start to finish. Every time I pray I am strengthened and prepared for what lies ahead. And whats more, when I ask the Lord to fill me with His joy as I give my burdens to Him, He does! This sweet verse reminds me that He wants us to be filled with joy as he placed this desire in our heart:
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Psalm 37:4 KJV
Remember that when we come to the Lord in faith, He will meet us there. God is faithful to perform His Word! Hallelujah!
4. By Serving Others
The longer I walk the face of this earth, the more I realize the joy that comes when I serve others. I was raised by amazing women who loved to serve others. I watched my great-grandmothers, grandma, and mom serve others in many different capacities. While I loved watching these women serve, it wasn't until my own revelation of service came that I found complete joy in serving. I'm grateful that God gives us the grace to serve in many different capacities and it is all important for His Kingdom. Serving others is a great gift that has carried me through many difficult times in my life producing joy when life wasn't joyful. What a gift!
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!