Hey daydreamers! Today’s post is definitely a bit different from usual. At my school, I’m a part of a leadership organization. Last fall I had the opportunity to lead all the junior high students in a Bible study!
I actually thought that it would only be for the organization, so I had prepared to speak in front of 20 people or so, but I had to give a presentation for over 80 people. (My school is pretty small compared to public school) That was pretty crazy! It was a really good experience, and it was really cool to come up with a topic and dive deep into God’s word.
I thought it would be fun to share the Bible study I did as a devotional post! I made little images of some of the quotes and verses from the post – feel free to save those as wallpapers or whatever you’d like. Let’s get into the post!
Hey daydreamers! For the 8th day of Blogmas, I have bit of a different post for you guys! I just got back from a winter retreat, and it was amazing! It was so fun to get some fresh air and hang out with my friends. I also grew my faith a lot and felt really close to God. Applying some of the things I learned there, I thought it would be really cool to share this Christmas-themed devotion that I wrote for you guys!
At Christmas, I feel like a word I see constantly is joy. Just look in Hobby Lobby, and you’ll find that word just about everywhere. You know that decoration every other person seems to have, the cutout that says JOY with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus inside the O? My family and friends and I came up with this game while we’re looking at Christmas lights to count how many JOY signs we see. Seriously, we always get over 20.
Joy has kind of become an overused word at Christmastime. It’s lost it’s meaning, and become a holiday buzzword. But what does joy even mean, anyway?
Let’s look at two different ways to define joy: How the world defines it, versus how the Bible defines it. Dictionary.com says that joy is “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; elation:a state of happiness or felicity.”
On the surface, joy could be described as happiness, an emotion, caused by something, like it says in the dictionary. Defined this way, joy is conditional. It’s caused by something. The feeling of winning a sports game, opening a present that’s just what you wanted, or seeing a family member you don’t see often.
However, in the Bible, joy is deeper than that. Joy is unconditional. It doesn’t have a cause. It’s not defined by circumstance. In fact, Jesus calls us to be joyful in all circumstances.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.
-James 1:2 NIV
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
-Philippians 4:4 NIV
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Did you know that Philippians, the most joyful book in the Bible – it mentions joy explicitly 15 times and has a theme of it – was written when Paul was in prison? Joy isn’t just a feeling or an emotion. It’s looking to God, even when you’ve hit rock bottom, and praising Him anyways. Despite your circumstances, you can always rejoice in the Lord.
But what does this have to do with Christmastime? Why do we see this word pop up so much during December? This is because Jesus is THE reason for joy. That’s why, even in the darkest places, we can always find joy in Jesus. So that’s why at Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of our Savior who brings us so much joy, we talk about this word. Because it’s more than an emotion or feeling: Jesus is joy.
…but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.”
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
Posts like holiday fashion and music are always super fun, but I loved this reminder of why we celebrate Christmas! I hope that this devotion helped you take a step back and regain the meaning of joy at Christmas. If you have any questions, PLEASE reach out to me either in the comments section or the contact page! I’ll try my best to answer them, and I’m happy to pray for you or anything else you need!
Merry Christmas and I’m praying for all of y’all! See you tommorow!
Have you ever gone on a retreat before? What does joy mean to you? Which out of these verses spoke to you the most? Do you have any questions?
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