Day 11: Advent, Christ make us Joyful

In my daily readings from the Old Testament, I’ve discovered a host of new treasures hidden away. In particular, a phrase from Ezra popped right out at me the other day: “for the Lord had made them joyful” (Ez. 6:22). Not only is celebration a learned discipline of worship, a heart of rejoicing is a gift from God. The people of Israel were able to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread for the first time since in the exile for seven days, because God had gifted them with joy.

Do you need God to gift you with joy this Christmas? Perhaps it’s the stress of getting together with abrasive family members, or the business of Christmas parties to attend, gifts to purchase, and cookies to bake. Maybe, like me, it’s hard not to look around at the myriad of newly-marrieds and young families starting their own Christmas traditions and wish for a spouse with whom to celebrate.

I’m thankful the whole story of Christmas is a reminder that joy is not something I get from circumstances or blessings, but from Christ himself. After all, if families and food, comfort and security were enough to save and satisfy, we wouldn’t need Christ.

This Christmas, I want to deliberately, daily, declare to myself: “Jesus is enough.” Jesus is not a cherry on top of an already full life of other things clamoring to fulfill. He is enough. And when he makes me joyful, I can celebrate, regardless of whether life goes as planned.

Christ, make me joyful. May I preach daily to my heart that You are enough—the fully sufficient, incomparable One who can satisfy my soul and give me true cause to celebrate.

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