Monday Morning Encouragement - Third Week of Advent - Joy


"And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'"

Luke 2:10

As part of our celebration of the Advent season, we're exploring the four themes of Advent: Hope, Faith, Joy and Peace. Two weeks ago we looked at Hope. Last week we delved into Faith. Today we'll consider what the Bible has to say about Joy. 


According to Bible Gateway, the word "joy" in the NIV version of the Bible appears in various forms 244 times. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul exhorts the church in Philippi to "rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4). Note the word "always". Always rejoice. Always? Even in the midst of great sorrow? Yes!

I'll confess that as a young Christian I struggled with this notion. How do we find joy in the midst of a devastating loss? I couldn't imagine it. Couldn't wrap my head around it. Yet, Paul writes these words from prison. He writes them in the midst of great tribulation: imprisoned for the crime of sharing the gospel. Shouldn't he be filled with great sorrow? Well, if we look at Paul's circumstances through the lens of the Bible, we'll understand that the joy Paul expressed comes from his relationship with Jesus Christ. It's supernatural. And it comes from the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives the joy of the Lord to Paul, and he writes of it to not only encourage the Philippian church, but to encourage us as well. 

You see, happiness is fleeting. It depends on circumstances. I feel happy today because (fill in the blank). But tomorrow circumstances may change for the worst. What then? We're not so very happy. However, the joy spoken of in the Bible is constant. Eternal. It doesn't change with circumstances. Whether we're having a good day or a bad day, we are still able to find joy -- to rejoice in -- the love of our Lord. Because His love can never be taken from those of us who belong to Him. He said it Himself: "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." (John 10:28). 

This knowledge should cause us to rejoice. To have great joy even when things look hopeless. The Bible gives us this truth, and I have experienced it in my own life. Believe me when I tell you that I have had great losses and disappointments in my life. Death of loved ones, including my spouse; financial ruin; a failed second marriage, rejection by my earthly father. I don't tell you this for sympathy. I tell you this so that you will hopefully see the amazing love and grace of God. I sit here writing to you today with the knowledge that I am secure in the love of my Heavenly Father. He will never, ever reject me. He will never abandon me. He will never mistreat me. Comprehending that truth and allowing it to penetrate my heart and my life has given me joy inexpressible! Peter said it so well: "Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory," (1 Peter 1:8). Yes, Lord! Yes! This is the joy we have in You!

Today's music video Joy of the Lord by Rend Collective encourages us to praise the Lord for the joy we have in Him.

I love you, I'm thinking of you, and I'm praying for you.



  1. This is a great post today Nancy. I have heard from my friend that visits people in prison to share the gospel that people that know their lives outside of prison are over that look to Jesus to fill their lives while repenting are so much happier even after the huge change with freedom taken. No one can take the faith you feel in your heart and share with Jesus. Paul probably felt the same way that he may be in prison and they took his freedom but they could not take his faith and love of Jesus away. No matter what is going on in this world of ours and bleak it can feel we always have our faith and love of Jesus and know not matter what happens next in our journeys he will be by our sides. Happy Monday. xoxo

  2. I'm so very proud of you! We came to the Lord at the same time. We've had bumps in our Christian walks. Some of the best times I've had in my adult life were times spent with you and Jim. Look how far you've come.....sharing the Gospel, loving Christ. So again, I say how very proud I am of you, Nancy Ellen.....Love from Karen

  3. Great post Nancy - The JOY of the Lord is my strength. I appreciate your transparency in this post. Also a nice video link. Have not even started to decorate the cottage. If I put up a tree it is done very close to Christmas eve and I leave it up all through the darker winter months. I still have sunflowers in bloom and have not switched gears into the Christmas vibe. I like seeing your crafty projects that add charm to your sweet home. Many Blessings-

  4. Yes, joy is deeper than happiness! It's not dependent on circumstances!

  5. I love this post Nancy. For a while I had happiness and joy confused. You explained it so well and the scriptures you used to back up these truths are excellent. What am I saying, All of God's Word is excellent! :)
    P.S. you inspired me to do a little makeover and the post that inspired me (hope you don't mind) I added a link on my post back to your snowflake pillow post.


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