Guest post by my almost 16 year old daughter, Makenna.
What does joy mean to you? Is it just an emotion, or a feeling that you don’t notice most of the time? Well joy is a really good thing, very good for us. Joy is and can be produced in us, even in dark circumstances. God is the creator of joy, so don’t depend on your circumstances to make you feel a certain way. Don’t wait for the circumstances to change, realize that joy can be with you in every season of life. If we want to be joyful, then we have to be in the Word of God. Be in the presence of God. Religion doesn’t bring joy into our life, relationship does. Take a look at Psalm 118:1, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” What is more joyful than that? Steadfast love from God. I think a lot of times we don’t realize how good our God is. How often do you seek joy in other places? We need to seek joy through God, not the world. Return steadfast love to God. Find joy in his presence. Now take a look at Hosea 6:6, “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Seek His steadfast love! That is where our genuine joy will come from. Another question may be, how do you find joy in pain? Well, believe it or not when you’re going through painful trials and hardship, that’s what makes you stronger to get the most joy out of life. God’s Spirit is the one who empowers us to do what we never could. As we’ve seen in the Christmas story, things that seem impossible suddenly become a reality when God shows up. The Bible describes Jesus as the Son of God anointed with the oil of joy. This should give our hearts hope! We have a Savior acquainted with grief but anointed with joy – the same joy he promises to give to us in our grief. God gives statements like, “I am the one God he will never leave or forsake you.” “I am the one with peace and understanding.” No matter what circumstances we face, we can rely on a joyful Christmas season and days beyond knowing that God loves us, and will never leave us. That is a joy that can’t be robbed!
Thanks, Makenna for allowing me to share your devotion! Hope you all enjoyed!