Written by: Sarah Walker
Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and heaven and nature sing.
As that special time of year rolls around and the classic Christmas songs begin to play on the radio, twinkling lights start to line the streets of my neighbourhood, and decorations and sweets fill the shelves of every store. My heart can’t help but swell with what many might call “Christmas spirit”. It’s that wonderful time of year when nostalgia, traditions and anticipation fill my heart with great joy and wonderment for the season ahead!
Inevitably, as we ring in the New Year and put the decorations away, it becomes a lot harder to find that sense of “Christmas joy” in the busyness of our day-to-day routine. Something about the season makes it a bit easier to find that joy, but of course, we don’t live in December all year long!
There are definitely times in my life when experiencing and finding joy is easy, but of course there are times when trials have come along that make it seem impossible to find any joy. In those times, I know I have to make a choice: will I choose to wallow and stress or will I choose to be joyful regardless my circumstance?
But, as true as that is, I have also found that when “I” have tried to be joyful on my own, it is not always enough. It doesn’t always work. I can’t always do it on my own.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
When I consistently set aside time to spend with Jesus through things like prayer, worship and reading His word, I find that HE fills my heart with joy through the Holy Spirit!
It’s not always as simple as just “choosing” to be more joyful. Some days, that’s just impossible. But I have learned that when life is hard and difficult, I need to choose Jesus.
When I’m sad, I need to choose Jesus.
When life is busy and filled with endless routine, I need to choose Jesus.
And when life is wonderful and fun, I need to choose Jesus.
It’s like that amazing Christmas anthem says, “Let every heart prepare Him room.” Regardless of the season, my mood, or any situation, I must always make room for Jesus. The more time I spend in God’s presence, the more true joy finds a way in, no matter what time of year it is. I become more joyful, gentle, patient, loving, and kind. Put simply, spending time with Jesus makes life easier!
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)
Sarah is married to her best friend Chris and together they have two energetic and sweet kids! She currently lives in Southern Ontario where she is the children’s director at her church.
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