Advent, Week Three: Joy

“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, NASB).

In Romans 15:13, Paul references joy, peace, and hope in the reverse order of the Advent calendar. He states that joy and peace come from God and make possible His provision of hope. Advent begins with hope and progresses to peace, then joy.

We cannot produce our own joy, the exultation within us that does not depend upon our circumstances. Sam Storms says, “Joy is not necessarily the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God.”

With Him, we have joy. With Him, we have peace.

Like joy, peace also comes from God. The peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7) comes to us in our worst, not our best times. Peace remains only when we keep our eyes on Him and don’t focus on our circumstances.

When we look back to see His provision and care for us, we can look ahead with faith and trust that He will continue to be good even if times become harder. That’s hope.

Advent is a time to draw near to God. We ponder the hope of His coming at Christmas as we look toward His coming again. We find peace and joy even in the turmoil of a world darkened because it has turned from Him.

The world is dark now. It was dark then too.

Christ is the light shining through the darkness.

The darkness will not overcome His light.

In that knowledge, we find joy and peace and hope.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The First Week of Advent: Hope and Time

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” John 1:1-5.

“He, through Whom time was made, loved us so much He was made in time for us.” Augustine, qtd. in God Above All.

Christ came from outside time to experience its limitations–days that were too short–nights, too long. He suffered in time without relief or reprieve.

It’s hard for us to imagine being outside time. How often every day do we check the clock or wonder how to get to the next task or place on time? We vacillate between wishing for more time and hoping minutes would pass more quickly.

We understand that He placed us in time but did not intend for us to remain in it always.

“. . . He has also set eternity in the human heart . . .” Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Since eternity is in our hearts, we squirm under the pressures of time–too much or not enough during our earthly lives.

Even so, Christ calls us contemplate the true meaning of His birth, life, and death. He invites us to respond to His call and so find hope.

“He came to this poor earth of ours to carry on an exchange; to say to us, as only the Good God could say: ‘you give me your humanity, and I will give you my Divinity; you give me your time, and I will give you My eternity; you give me your broken heart, and I will give you Love; you give me your nothingness, and I will give you My all,” Fulton J. Sheen

This exchange requires our time and devotion. In our humanity, in time, with broken hearts, and in our nothingness, we find hope in Him.

This first week of Advent when we ponder hope, hush your waiting heart. Hush your hurrying heart. His all awaits. Welcome, Christmas. Welcome Christ.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”