Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Advent Journal Day XVIII: Joy Inexpressible and Full of Glory

Sometimes Joy seems to be hanging by a thread. Joy must be more than an ornament on a tree. I discovered this week that my Joy is connected to my worship; how thankful I am to Him. The greatest gift ever given to me is that God sent His Son; that is the purpose of this season, this Advent; preparing and waiting for Him. I am grateful for that; but am I grateful in that? Does He have my will or my heart?

Thankfulness doesn’t come easy when the bank account is low, and you are wondering how you’re going to make it through this season and come out alive…and in this world of Pinterest and home and fashion pages—a constant reminder of what we don’t have it’s hard to remember to be thankful for what we do have.

I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods. I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O Lord, When they have heard the words of Your mouth. And they will sing of the ways of the Lord, For great is the glory of the Lord. For though the Lord is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands {Ps. 138 NASB}

I will be thankful; I will worship Him before the ‘gods’ of things I want and don’t have, which will fade away in light of eternity. I will worship Him before the ‘gods’ of those things that vie for my attention and take it away from Him. I will instead bow down to Him; the God of Hope, the God of Peace, and Joy, and Love—He is perfecting all that concerns me {v.8}. What could this world possibly give me that compares to the riches of God Almighty? His Name is exalted above all names, yet He still cares for me—regards me, the lowly. In the midst of all my trouble, He will revive me—breathe His breath of life into me and awaken every weary bone and muscle, every weary emotion and circumstance with His life. Lord Jesus, how thankful I am for You. You made me bold with strength in my soul {v. 3}.
Keep your eyes on Him. Be thankful and bless His Name. That joy—that Joy unspeakable will be overflowing from within and you will not be able to contain it. Regardless of the trouble; He is faithful; He is worthy of more than justour wills; He is worthy of having our whole heart—having everything that we are; did He not give us everything? Shall we not return it to Him?

So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls {1 Peter 1:7-9 NASB my emphasis}. 

To read the entire Advent Journal click here:

Dabbling in Ink....

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