Advent Series: Express Joy

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans8 Minutes

Advent Series Week Three: Express Joy

Do you want more from Christmas than a chaotic schedule, financial stress, and more stuff? Join us for our Advent series. Each week of Advent (November 27 – December 24), we will fix our eyes on a beautiful truth about God and provide some verses you can read each night of the coming week.

Why not start a family tradition to get more from Christmas than ever before? Grow your faith, quiet your heart, and enjoy Jesus!


Express Joy

Here we are at week three already! The Christmas chaos probably already has you spinning in circles, which perfectly aligns with our focus: JOY. Did you know the Scriptural word for joy conveys the concept of movement and mirth? The word joy (and variations of it) appear in Scripture hundreds of times from Genesis to Revelation. Joy is not a passive pleasure; it’s an engaged experience.

When we live fully connected to Jesus Christ, we become an expression of divine joy and pleasure. In fact, God’s good pleasure is the driving force behind the glorious plan of salvation (Ephesians 1). JOY motivated God to redeem His enemies – you and me – (Romans 5:10) and give us the same inheritance as Jesus. Now, that’s some cause for rejoicing, don’t you agree?!

Now you see why the angelic messengers announced Christ’s birth as “good news that will cause great joy for all!” The good news is that joy is part of our DNA and destiny.

  • Joy flows from God Himself (Isaiah 65:18; Psalm 104:31).
  • He commands us, His people, to rejoice (Psalm 98:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16).
  • And we witness Jesus expressing joy even in great distress (Luke 10:21; Hebrews 12:2).

 Missing the Mark

Unfortunately, our inherent craving for joy makes us susceptible to settling for faulty, frail imitations. Sometimes we seek joy in vices – you know those infamous pleasure pursuits of wine, women, and song. Other times we pursue pleasure in God-given gifts that have inherent value (like family, food, and fellowship) – but even those fall short of true JOY.

Any time we find our joy in the gift instead of the Giver, the supply will be exposed as a deceptive illusion. Like an addict chasing the next high, our pursuit of false joys brings death and destruction. But our foolishness and faithlessness never stop God’s love. He faithfully pursues and continually calls us to Himself – the only source of real JOY.

THAT is the joy of which the angels sang and the reason for the season: JESUS!

Finding the Path

 God designed us in love for love. His desire is that our entire lives on earth resonate with joy. There is a simple acronym that shows us the way to having a joy-filled journey.

When Jesus is the number one priority of your life, JOY is the inevitable outflow. Just as God’s good pleasure motivated God to create and redeem mankind, that same pleasure directs those who receive Jesus as King. Serving others is the natural outcome of following after our Lord who always chooses to do things that bring good to others. The harmony of those who are united with Jesus resounds with beauty and joy.

To have joy in a broken world requires keeping a right-focus. You remember that we began Advent by looking at Hope – things not yet realized? Then we looked at exercising faith when we don’t have the things we know God has promised.

Sorrows and difficulties will derail us from JOY unless we keep our eyes on the example of Christ. He endured the Cross for the joy set before Him – His immediate reality was not pleasurable but His eternal joy – and ours – is now secure.

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5).

 Every Step of the Way

Christmas focuses our eyes on joy, but for the Christian every day is to be joy-filled. Did you know that the Christmas carol Joy to the World was never meant for Christmas? It’s actually based on Psalm 98 and reflects the truth that joy comes with the arrival of the King.

Christmas turns our eyes toward the birth of Christ, and also  reminds us He’s coming again. Both are cause for rejoicing, but we must never forget that God is also the God of NOW. Today is the day of salvation, the day of His Kingship. Every day that we live with Jesus as our King our lives become an expression of JOY!

Scriptures for the Coming Week

Monday, December 12                   Luke 15:7
Family Chat:                                    Have you ever led someone to Jesus and felt this joy?

Tuesday, December 13                   Galatians 5:22-3
Family Chat:                                    What damages the Spirit’s fruit in your life?

Wednesday, December 14             Nehemiah 8:10
Family Chat:                                    When do you experience God’s joy and strength?

Thursday, December 15                 James 1:2-3
Family Chat:                                   How can life’s tests bring you joy?

Friday, December 16                     Proverbs 10:28
Family Chat:                                  How does Jesus give hope for today?

Saturday, December 17                John 15:11
Family Chat:                                  Do you need a plan to hear more of Christ’s Words?