JOY- Advent Week 2

Week 2  
Is anyone else struggling this week? For some reason, things just seem harder and heavier to me. I try to see the positive in most things and throughout the craziness of this year I have been counting my blessings and trying to stay grateful through it all. This week, that has been put to the test more times than I can count.  
Joy to the world, the Lord has come!  
Joy can be a difficult concept for many. I know over the years I have struggled with it and the more I lean in to the Lord in times of hardship, the more He has taught me that our joy isn’t dependent on curating a feeling or an emotion. Joy is a bi-product of trust.  

Luke 1:26-38, 46 & 47
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 

Mary was in a season that many young women find themselves. She was engaged! She was going to marry the man of her dreams, settle down and then I’m sure start a family and be an amazing wife and mom. She was planning her wedding and being an obedient and faithful daughter in her home as she awaited her marriage. She was young. She had her whole life ahead of her and she had nothing to fear or worry about! Out of nowhere an angel of the Lord appears and you know the rest…the trajectory of her life changes FOREVER. I’m certain there was fear, questioning and a heaviness in that moment that she couldn’t even articulate. How would she explain it, how would she survive the onset of bad looks, whispering behind her back and the gossip that would ensue? What Mary does in response to the Lord’s plan for her life is truly remarkable. She responds with her full trust.  

Perhaps one of the keys of having joy in our life is our obedience and submission/surrender to God’s will, not our own. The joy that came, “my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” was something that can only come from a submission of will. As Robbie taught this weekend, Mary’s faith was weighty. She knew that God’s love for her was secure and his plan was sovereign even though she did not understand it. No matter what was ahead, she could live secure knowing that He is at the helm and He has a plan. Details were up to Him.

What part of your life are you just completely not willing to budge on with the Lord? Joy comes when we release our need to control it all. Freedom comes when we align our minds and our hearts with the truth. The truth is that God is in control, He is faithful, He actually has your best in mind. When we surrender our will to his, I believe that is when true joy springs forth.  
This season choose joy by choosing to quit fighting God on everything. Release your will to his and see what He does with that act of faith and obedience.  

We place our HOPE in Christ alone and we receive a JOY that only He can provide.  

Love and blessings to you all!  





2019 34 46 Amarillo Anna COVID-19 Christ Church DFW DVD David Decapolis Easter Elsa Ephesians Esther Eugene Father Fishing Fish Galilee God Gospel of John Hebrews Holy Spirit Jesus Jewish Jews John Lamentations Lives Matthew Peterson Peter Promise Proverbs Psalms Robbie Rogers Romans Savior Sea Secondm Simon Sunday Trump Word abiding adventures affliction again alive alone anger anguish answer anxiety arts baby beatitudes beneficial be blessed bless bold breath called call careful cares carry changes change children child city on a hill city cloud comfort committed community compassion complaints confidence confusion contain contentment cosmic cost creative creator cross culture daddy darkened darkness dark david death debtors deceive defeat define delight deliver democrat denomination depressed depths despair die difficult dinner disciple distance distress divided down ears earth election escape everything ever exalt experience eyes faithfulness faith family fear feed feelings flame flee focus forgiveness forgiven formed forward for friendship friends frustration funeral gay marriage gay gift give gloomy glorified glory good gospel grace growing grow guard guilty hallowed hand hard times harden hardship hard hearts heart hear heaven helpful holy week holy homosexual honesty honey hope hospitality house human humble humbling important insane in journey joy kingdom kings knowing know laundry law lay lean letter life light link listening listen live lord lose loud loved loves love lovr lungs man meal media mercy mind ministry mission modern mount mouth musicians music nations new year news new next night not offense okay old others outcast out overcome pain palm sunday pandemic panic pastors pastor path paul peace people perfect perish person plan politics poor porn portion posture pour powerful power praise prayer pray preferences president pressure pride protest psalm race ready read reality rebellion receive redemption regret rejoice remember reminder republican requests rescue rested rest resurrected right running run sacrifice sadness salvation same save scared season seeking seek separation sermon servant service sexual sex sheep side sink sin social distance social socks son sought soul speak spirit spirt step still stone storm story struggle suffering surrender surrounded sweet tablets taste test thankful thank thing timothy today together traveling trials trouble trusted trust truth uncertainty understanding understand united unity us value victory vision voice wages waiting waves weep well wept with witnesses womb words work world worry worshipper worship yours your you zacchaeus