Christmas is coming quickly! How are you feeling about it?
This year, my heart is heavy as I think of my friend Michele who is trying to navigate the first Christmas without her 14-year-old daughter who committed suicide. And I’m amazed that even in a season filled with much sadness, she remains faithful, choosing to focus on Christ and his gifts of love, joy, peace, and hope. This is what gives Michele the strength to get through such a difficult time.
So, as I read this Christmas message from Pastor Jim Garlow, it reminds me that as believers, we can find so much strength and comfort in the joy of the Lord. I share this with you and hope it speaks to your heart as much as it did mine . . .
If I were to give you a Christmas gift—I know exactly what it would be! If I could give you anything I wanted, I’d give you . . . joy. Joy is so important in the life of the believer. Nehemiah 8 says that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” Our strength! It literally flows strength into our spirit and from our spirit into our emotions, and from our emotions into our physical being.
The joy of the Lord is your strength. It’s not just some trite saying. It’s reality. Psalm 28 adds, “The Lord is my shield.” And it says, “My heart leaps for joy and I’ll give thanks to Him.” I’m not talking about happiness. I’m talking about a deep, abiding joy that comes from intimacy with God—that produces strength into your spirit.
Receive the gift. Receive joy!
This message will air on “The Garlow Perspective” on Christmas Day. We pray that your listeners are encouraged and their hearts lifted by the reminder that in Him, we can receive and share joy, not just at Christmas, but in every season of life.
May you have a very Merry Christmas! Looking forward to your continued partnership in 2018!