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Advent Devotional 12/18/2010

Week 3: Joy

Good morning!  Our devotional writer for today is Johnny Silva.  Johnny is our Senior Campus Minister to the TCU Wesley, and is currently in his second year as a member of the Horned Frog Family.  Johnny came to us from San Antonio where he also served as a Wesley Campus Minister.  I have enjoyed getting to know Johnny and have always appreciated his ability to create a safe space for all students, thereby making the Wesley a welcoming and affirming place for everyone.  It is evident that Johnny deeply cares for students and genuinely desires to be with them through all that life sends their way – celebrating moments of success and grieving those heartbreaking moments of loss.  And through it all he reminds them that hope and JOY are still present, and that happiness will come again.  We see that message reflected in his words for us today.  I hope you will take a moment to meditate on his message this morning and continue to reflect on it as you live into your JOY this holiday season.

Acts 16: 23-25

After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Let us reflect.

In the midst of finals and with the chaos of everything that is this Christmas season, you might find it difficult to experience or even catch a glimpse of God’s promise of joy. Is it only something we read about in the Bible? Can it happen for me in my life?

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas found themselves in the most difficult of circumstances. And, yet, they prayed and sang hymns to God. You see, happiness is dependent on circumstances; Joy, on the other hand, occurs independent of circumstances and is anchored in the Lord. This is what fueled Paul and Silas to rise above their circumstances and change their very life. This joy is available to you and can change your life too!

So, how might God be positioning you now in your current situation to step into the full and robust expression of God’s promised joy? To find out, keep your heart set on kingdom matters, continuously count every blessing in your life, and let your faith fuel your joy.

Let us pray.

 Powerful and loving God, may you help each of us know within the depths of our souls and every fiber of our being that all of Your promises are yes and amen in Christ. May we live confidently in your joy despite our circumstances. For there is no maybe in a promise when it comes to You, O Lord, our refuge and our strength! Amen.


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