Joy

brown joy candle holder
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The lyrics from Chris Tomlin’s “Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy)” keep replaying over and over again in my mind. I cannot help but to wonder, what does “unspeakable joy” look like? What does it look like to have joy year round and not just at Christmas?

The Bible tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4 see also 1 Thes 5:16). When great and exciting things are happening in our lives, we are to rejoice and sing songs of praise to God (Jas 5:13b). Jesus, Paul, James and Peter exhort us to rejoice while undergoing trials, sicknesses, weaknesses, hardships, troubles, persecutions (Matt 5:12; Rom 5:3-5; 2 Cor 12:8-10; Jas 1:2-4; 1 Pet 1:6-9). We are to have “unspeakable joy” even when life is falling apart, run down and/or shattered. I know, I know easier said than done!

Joy, unspeakable and overflowing joy comes from God and God alone. Joy is produced in our lives by God’s Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). While I am not “bah humbug” when it comes to Christmas this year,  I am fully aware that what the world sells as “joy” is fleeting and temporary at best, lies and destruction at worst. The joy and peace that come from God are lasting and happen even in life’s difficulties. When you ask Your Heavenly Father for joy, wisdom, peace anything that aligns with His character, He will give to you! Precious reader, I ask that you keep your eyes and ears open to our brothers, sisters and neighbors who are hurting. As we all know, this can be an isolating and lonely time of year for people, may we not neglect them. May they not only see our joy that comes from God, may they experience that joy as well. God NEVER teaches us anything for us to keep it to ourselves. He blesses us so that we may be a blessing to others. The last thing this world needs is another jovial believer in name only. Jesus has told us who He is and what He is done so that our joy in Him may be full/complete (John 15:11).

Father God, thank You that You are Joy and that Joy comes from You! Thank You Lord, that we when we ask for anything that aligns with Your Name, character and will, You will give and do for us. Lord God, help us to be sensitive to those we encounter in this season. Lord, prepare our hearts for Christmas. Help us to have unspeakable and overflowing joy that results in our singing songs of praise to You. Thank You Father for the gift of salvation. Thank You for Jesus, thank You Jesus for entering this messy world to reconcile us to God. Lord, may we be known for our love and for our joy. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.

 

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Blue Collar Theologian

My name is Mandy Sweigart-Quinn, I live in Lancaster, PA and I am a “Blue Collar Theologian.” I love Jesus! I am passionate about His Word (The Holy Bible)! I come alive when I can encourage others in their walk with Jesus (whether by writing or speaking). As a “Blue Collar Theologian” it is my aim to live/practice/work out my Christian hope with sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. As a “Blue Collar Theologian,” I strive to meet people right where they are (“Incarnational Theology”). I am a seminarian at Capital Seminary and Graduate School and God willing I will graduate in May 2019 with a Master's in Biblical Studies. I am a passionate, excited and enthusiastic person! I love flowers, sports and sunsets. Since January 2, 2018 I have had the privilege of being married to Nathan.

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