Advent Week 3–Don’t Let Circumstances Steal Your JOY

Shepherds in the Field, by Arnold Friberg

Imagine a peaceful night in the fields near the little town of Bethlehem. Shepherds rest under a starlit sky, some sleeping wrapped in their cloaks, the occasional bleating of a hungry lamb the only sound that interrupts the silence,

and then—

Suddenly,

a light appears so bright and vibrant that it turns night to day!

Now, imagine yourself in a similar situation. You are tucked into bed and on the edge of sleep when the room bursts into a fireball.

Terrified?

Of course you are!

And so were the shepherds.

An angel became visible in the light, and the angel’s first words were:

“Do not be afraid.

I bring you good news that will cause great joy.”

DO. NOT. BE. AFRAID.

I-Choose-Joy-BeckyToday, we live in a world that gives us reason to be afraid. But the angel’s words, spoken all those years ago, still apply. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy.”

The Good News is that Jesus Christ came into the world to save us. When we put our trust and faith into Him, nothing can hurt us. Nothing at all! We needn’t be afraid.

Whatever your situation is during this Advent season, remember that there is joy in Jesus. Feeling joyful is a choice. You can choose to find joy in any circumstance for the simple reason that Jesus Christ was born that night in Bethlehem. He came down from heaven, from Father God, to save us from sin and give us the gift of eternal life.

So, don’t let the burdens of this world keep you from experiencing the joy of Christmas. Celebrate! Feel the joy. Share it with others.

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The theme for this THIRD week of Advent is JOY.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:8–11 NIV

Be joyful, be happy, be giddy. Celebrate!

JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD HAS COME.

This is the official music video from Rend Collective’s Campfire Christmas Vol.1 album. Rend Collective is an Irish worship group that has toured with Chris Tomlin.

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Better to Receive Than Give?—Guest Post by Reaganne Goode

For this second week of Advent, I’ve invited Reaganne Goode to share her thoughts with us about ChristmasReaganne has posted here before. You might remember that she is the high school senior whom I met this summer when she volunteered for Group Workcamps. Reaganne is hoping to attend The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next fall and is a semifinalist in the race for this year’s Coca Cola Scholarship.

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Better to Receive Than Give?

“In the midst of gift buying, tree decorating, and cookie baking, it is easy to forget about why we truly celebrate the Christmas season the way that we do. Possibly the oldest, cheesiest, truest statement in the book, “Jesus is the reason for the season”, is a common generalization of this holiday month. At my age, Christmas is a complicating thing to grasp. Growing up, we are taught that its purpose is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, yet “Santa” is who we glorify. While there is nothing wrong with jolly St. Nick, it is important to know why we are trying so hard to find the perfect tree or the perfect gift. Whether or not He was born on the exact day of Christmas, we celebrate the most significant birth, the birth of Jesus Christ, on December 25th every year. We honor His birth for the same reason we celebrate the birth of a friend or a loved one; to remember and cherish the importance of the event. Christmas symbolizes the arrival of our Savior, the one who was born to die as atonement for our sins. I’d say that that is worth the hassle of untangling the Christmas lights or dealing with your crazy uncle at the annual Christmas dinner.

A major part of Christmas is preparation. My parents have the tough end of the deal. They have to prepare mentally, physically, and finically for what the holiday season may bring, while my siblings and I are preparing our rooms for all of our new stuff. Above all else, however, the preparation of our hearts for Christmas, or any time of the year, is what remains vital in our walk with Christ. In order to fully receive, understand, and embrace what He has planned for us, we have to allow Him to break all of our barriers. We can’t submit to His will or fully live out His plan for our lives without opening up and expressing the content of our hearts to Him. Giving, another key aspect of the December month, is a wonderful thing, but receiving is just as important. Preparing our hearts to receive the love showered over us by our family and friends this season is substantial; however, it is even more imperative that we are ready to receive the greatest gift of all, God’s loving gift of eternal life.”

Reaganne Goode

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loveThe theme for this SECOND week of Advent is LOVE.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17–19 NIV

YouTube video by Audrey Cordery

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*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

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Filed under A Christian Teen's Perspective, Advent, God's Love, Reaganne Goode