Advent Day 21: Choose Joy

December 17

Be joyful always.
I Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV)

Have you ever noticed how joyful children are? They get cranky when they’re tired or hungry or grounded, but for the most part, they rebound quickly. It’s because they don’t have the same worries and concerns that adults do. They’re inherently optimistic and aren’t bogged down by adult responsibilities.

Children are wonderful examples of 1 Thessalonians 5:16, and we would do well to emulate their joy.

As Jesus-followers, we have access to a joy that’s not shaken by circumstances. It’s a remnant of what Jesus has done in our lives, and it’s constant. It isn’t changed by the world. But like all aspects of our salvation, we’ve been given the choice to be joyful. The suggestion is that we gain perspective by flipping this scripture around. Instead of following scripture and saying, “Be joyful always,” we could choose to say, “Groan always.” We have the choice. We can groan if we want to over life’s difficulties, but scripture says to be joyful always, and nothing is a better directive than the word of God.

For Today: Christmas is less than a week away. Do you feel like you have too much to do, and not enough time? The good news is that there is still time for you to choose joy this Christmas. What do you need to decide to be joyful about today?

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