Merry Christmas

Just wanted to share a thought, and something I read: As we go through the holidays, we all experience this time of year differently. You may have endured difficult circumstances throughout the year, or even a negative event that may have occurred during this time period in your life. With each day passing, we look around seeing people laugh, smile, and just enjoying themselves, and we're just not as enthusiastic as the next because we feel like our joy has left us. Mark Jobe, president of Moody Bible Institute wrote: Experiencing joy as God intended does not mean we have a smile on our face at all times. This joy comes from deep within and is not based on external circumstances. Missionary James Hudson Taylor said:" Our joy in Him may be a fluctuating thing: His joy in us knows no change." Jesus said that keeping His commands brings us joy: " I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete" (John 15:11). We can experience joy even when we face trials. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials"

(James 1:2). We certainly aren't happy when we walk through seasons of temptation or stress or sickness or loneliness. But we can endure all these hardships with the firm and unwavering assurance that we are not alone. Jesus is our constant companion, our very present joy, even when life gets tough. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10). Let me pray a blessing upon you today: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. In Jesus name. Amen.