I think sometimes joy can be confused with happiness and sometimes they do mean the same thing and sometimes joy is just counting our blessings and finding ways to be positive when things get difficult. I think out of all the Advent themes this one can be the hardest to implement in our hearts. Love, Hope, and Peace seem to be around us more, discussed more, and more easily implemented in our lives. Joy is such a simple word but when you really look at it’s meaning I think it can get confusing.
I was at a church service not to long ago and they had their children’s message before the main message, and I have to say I got be more out of the children’s message. Maybe because it made the word joy easy to understand, or because my heart was more open to what was being said in that message.
The Bible talks about many times having faith like a child, and I think that is where the purest joy can be found. Little children are the greatest blessings and often have the most joyful view on the world. This is one of the things I think God was showing me in this children’s message. To strive for joy through the Lord one must have faith like a child, finding wonder in the big, beautiful life He gave us.
This children’s message though went on to describe one of the easiest ways to have joy.
If you put these letters in the wrong order it won’t spell joy. If you put the priorities each letter stands for in the wrong order you won’t have joy. I thought the this was one of the most profound ideas, it made joy so simple, yet it convicted me in such a way that I looked at my priorities. When I looked back on the times when I had the letters in the right order, I really did have joy.
I encourage you to write these letters on a sticky note or on your bathroom mirror, just to remind you that you can find joy first in Jesus, then with others, and then with yourself.