Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

JOY to the World, the LORD has Come!

One of the most recognizable Christmas carols today is "Joy to the World".  This weekend, as I was reflecting in my prayer time, I felt prompted by the Lord to begin praying for joy.  Then a friend stopped by and left a note on my front porch... talking about... JOY!  My devotional that day eluded to the "joy of the Lord".  What confirmations from God.    But, what is joy???

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.     The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.  But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.  For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed.  In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

    Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.
    When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me."  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
    Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the Word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created."    James 1:2-18 NIV

Joy can be described as delight, happiness, or gladness.  We don't have to be a bucket of smiles and roses to obtain joy.  Some of the most amazing stories in the Bible about suffering and affliction contain a delight in the Lord that outside of the Spirit, we cannot understand.   Some of us have this joy in our spirits, whether or not it transfers to our emotions at the moment! 

This passage reminds us what we can delight in amid our turmoil:

-We have joy knowing that good will come from our present suffering.

-We have joy that God is building maturity, completeness, and no lack within us.

-We have joy that God love endures through all things.

-We have joy that we will receive the Crown of Life!

- We have joy that He does not change.

-We have joy that He grants wisdom when we need it.

-We rejoice in the fact that He has given us His Son, who sets us free!

So, put a song in your heart today and sing it aloud.  "Joy to the world, the Lord has come!  Let (put your name here) receive his/her King!"   Your emotions may not feel like praising God, but it will sure send the enemy running!  Claim these verses!  Read them over and over and realize these areas of joy are for YOU!

May joy and peace reign in your household today.

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