Advent 2015 – Day 20 – Joy, Joy Joy!

adventcandlesweek3“I have told you this so that my joy may be in your and that your joy may be complete” John 15:11

There was a little chorus I remember singing when I was a child,

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy,

down in my heart, (where?)

down in my heart, (where?)

down in my heart,

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy,

down in my heart, (where?)

down in my heart to stay.[1]

Did you just sing that in your head? 🙂

Isn’t it amazing how those simple songs can have such powerful truth to them?   This little chorus beautifully expresses our key verse.  The joy that Jesus promised is the joy that lives “down in my heart to stay.”  It is an unshakable, unbreakable, immovable joy.

Joy is different from happiness.  Happiness is often conditional.  I am happy that my football team won the game.  I am happy because I found the perfect shoes for my new dress.  I am happy because my son offered to clean up the kitchen tonight.  But what happens to that happiness when the team loses the next week, a heel breaks on my perfect shoes and I wake up to a messy kitchen after my son’s midnight refrigerator raid?  Happiness depends on all the right things falling into place.

The joy of the Lord, on the other hand, is constant and consistent, because it is based on the character and the faithfulness of God.  It is a steady, unwavering, assurance that trusts in the God of creation who has promised us his constant and consistent love.  Joy that comes from Jesus sits at the beside and holds the hand of your loved one as they slip away.  It rocks your child to sleep night after night in the pediatric cancer ward.  It walks with you into the prison to visit your son every Sunday afternoon.  It faces the hard things of life with hope and peace because it is joy with “staying power”.

Do you have this joy?  Perhaps the better question is: do you have Jesus?  If not, I invite you today to find joy in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  This world may give you happiness in the moment, but only Jesus offers “Joy unspeakable and full of glory”.[2]

[1] George Willis Cooke (23 April 1848 – 30 April 1923).

[2] Barney E Warren (20 February 1867 – 21 April 1951).

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