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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Celebrate the Third Week of Advent

THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT: JOY

Hot pink, pale pink, rose pink are all shades of pink painted into a sunrise. Like the various shades of pink, our expressions of joy can be so different. Joy can be exuberant when we experience the faithfulness of God, it can be calm confidence in His sovereignty, or pure delight as He expresses His love.

Joy has many shades. It should never be determined by how we feel, but on who God is. The joy of the Lord can thrill us or make us resolute in the secure knowledge of God's presence. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 to be joyful always. Jesus tells us "With God all things are possible." (Mark 9:24)

This combination of truth should help us be joyful each day.

DAY ONE: PERSEVERANCE

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in the God of my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength: He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to go on the heights." (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

Habakkus wrote this passage after Israel had been devastated by the Babylonian invasion. All of the typical indicators of comfort and security in a Hebrew society -- crops, livestock, food -- had been eliminated. Despite the devastation, he proclaims the greater reality of God's sovereignty. His source of hope and strength is in the presence of Almighty God. His determination anchors his joy in God and it gives him the strength to follow Him to new places. Even in times of our own suffering, God is still sovereign.

Lord God, give us eyes to see your reality. When we are devastated, teach us how to persevere in following You. Help us to focus on Your sovereignty and Your love. Amen.

This Devotion is taken from Advent: Making Christmas about Christ with permission.

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