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.”

Joy, Grace, Love

“By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Paradox:

To see my own sin—my own failings and imperfections—

To overlook yours.

Joy:

To have His grace wash over me and splash onto you,

To have His grace soak us both through,

And stain us forever with His love.

Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8: 10-11, ESV~

Photo Credit: Pexels

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here! “Paradox” excerpted from the book.

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 Testimonies.”

BLOGPOST: ‘Hate’ Mail and the Pope

“When you get to know someone on a human level, see that they are human just like you and have similar struggles and the same deepest yearnings, you cannot hate them.” Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone
I read my blog’s first negative comment the other day. (See below: “What We Are For.”)
I am a hater, the commentator said, because I wish celibacy and loneliness upon gay people. Celibacy and loneliness are bad. Because those states of being are bad, I wish bad things upon gay people. Therefore, I “hate” gay people.
Such a conversation doesn’t really leave much room for discussion about the meaning of hatred.
Or about Christian love and what it means.
Or about how the Church has not been receptive to the idea of ministry to those who struggle with same sex attraction. How the Church hasn’t felt like a safe place for someone who may need to say, “Here is my struggle. Will someone walk with me in it?” Continue reading “BLOGPOST: ‘Hate’ Mail and the Pope”