God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Finding Joy in the Middle of Holiday Chaos

by Barbara Latta
Finding joy in the middle of holiday chaos

Holiday chaos is out there. All one has to do is get on the road. People are stressed, worried, fearful and in financial straits.

Yet the pressure to produce gifts, attend parties, prepare food and send greetings can overshadow the reason we are doing all these things.

I will admit I get carried away with the gift buying. I love to shop and buying gifts for others is fun. Now that I have a granddaughter, well you can just imagine what happens when I hit the toy aisle or the kids clothing sections.

Reining myself in is a struggle for me too. I get frustrated at the store lines, the traffic and the forgetfulness of something on my grocery list that requires another trip to the store.
But then I sit in my quiet time, read the Psalms that declare the glory of God, read the Christmas story in Luke and Matthew and the descriptions of heaven in Revelation and all those frustrating things fade away. The real reason we are celebrating fills me with the joy of knowing our Savior came to earth for us.

The key to joy is what we focus on.
Christmas carols and holiday cards are filled with references to joy. That's because we have been given the greatest gift that could be given. No one but God could give this gift. Eternal life. When we stop to reflect on what we have been redeemed from, our hearts should jump up and down in thanks.

I know how difficult it can be to think joyful thoughts when situations are sad. Financial stress, sickness and family separations can burden us especially when holiday celebrations are in full swing. We can be reminded of what we don’t have if let our minds wander in that direction.

So how can we find joy in the middle of holiday chaos? 

The key is what we focus on. No matter what the circumstances, Jesus is still the greatest gift ever given and He was born for all who would receive Him. And His Word carries the solution for anything we face.

Who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen (Galatians 1:4-5 NASB).

Eternal life begins the moment we are born again. It’s not just for the future in heaven. He gave to save us from this present evil age. We are not alone here. His power fills us to overcome anything that the enemy throws our way.

Joy is ours, but we must ponder the scriptures to experience it.

  • Rejoice for salvation is given: And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1: 8-9).
  • Rejoice for hope that gives us joy: Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).
  • Rejoice that no one can take away our joy: Therefore, you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and our heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you (John 16:22)
  • Rejoice for joy that gives us strength: Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10b).

Rejoice in the Lord, always; again, I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4). Paul wrote this from
Rejoice in the Lord always!
prison, chained and in stocks, in a dark, dreary,  and cold dungeon, surrounded by vermin, stink and filth. Yet he rejoiced and could tell us to rejoice because His focus was on the Lord and not his situation. Christians are still martyred across the world and have been in the dire circumstances Paul was in. But most of us have never had it as bad as Paul did and certainly no one has suffered the way Jesus did. Yet Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2).

Joy to the world for the Lord is come! May you rejoice this Christmas season knowing what a wonderful gift you have been given.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts of how you experience joy in the middle of chaos.

Finding joy in the middle of holiday chaos (click to tweet)
How can you rejoice in bad situations (click to tweet)

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