Contemplating Joy

On this is the third Sunday of Advent, I want to share a few verses that speak about joy.

Joy is not necessarily tied to current circumstances, but is anchored by hope in God’s character and his promises.

The King is Coming!

Zechariah shared God’s message of joy with the people of Jerusalem:

Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt.

Zechariah 9:9

The joy Zechariah spoke of was anchored in the promise of a coming King hundreds of years later.

The Messiah is Here!

The angels brought a message of joy to the shepherds in the fields:

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:8-12 NLT

The joy the angels spoke of was tied to the birth of the Messiah, and anchored in the hope that he would one day bring salvation. At the moment he was only a helpless infant, sleeping in a manger!

The King is Coming Again!

Whether our December days this year are cheery and bright or dark and dismal, we can still choose joy that is anchored in hope.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

1 Peter 1:6-8
Photo by David Orsborne on

Jesus came as a baby over 2,000 years ago, but one day he will return as the reigning King over all the earth. Today you can choose joy anchored in the expectant hope of seeing him face to face when he comes again!

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