What word would you use to describe 2020?
I can certainly think of a few—and none of them are all too complementary… But one word that does not immediately spring to mind is the word joyful.
“Oh remember 2020? That was such joyful year, wasn’t it?”
Yeah. I don’t think so.
And yet isn’t that exactly how we, as believers, are called to think?
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” James says in James 1:2.
It seem so counterintuitive, doesn’t it? When all we really want to do is complain and rant and cry and wish we would never see such a year again, we are told instead to count it all joy.
And the Reason we can do this is—as crazy as it may sound—is the very Reason we celebrate this advent season. The One who lay in the manger in a stable in Bethlehem and now offers hope and life and an eternal perspective that far outweighs the horrors of this world. The One who “for the JOY set before him… endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).
He endured the cross with JOY because of us.
So we, in turn, can endure the events of today with JOY because of Him.
No-one can deny its been a rough year. And we don’t have to be delighted about it, walking around with a huge smile on our face talking about how wonderful it was.
But we can choose joy.
It is a choice
It is our strength
It is our weapon
And as a Christian, it should be our calling card.
How can you choose the joy of the Lord even in spite of your circumstances today?