John 15: 9 &11, ” As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you. Now remain in My love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Let’s admit it…there hasn’t been a lot to be joyful about the last nine months. But it shouldn’t stop us from finding our source of happiness, well-being, and delight in the Lord. Jesus tells us that His joy is in us…fulfilled at the cross. And we should take this blessedness and share it with others…or as Mother Teresa once said, “Joy is a net by which you can catch souls.”
Sometimes it’s because of serious illness or loss…sometimes it’s the result of circumstances way beyond our control…but regardless, we can find ourselves without hope. There standing before us is no bright promise for things to come…only the bleak darkness of the here and now. But God’s intent…His plan and purpose for each one of us, is to give us hope and a future with Him. For God’s Will is only about doing good…His plans are perfect, His purpose for us, only the very best. So in place of our hopelessness, God promises joy… and in place of fear, He promises peace.
This time of year we are inundated with requests and pleas for donations. They call on the phone, they mail us fliers, they approach us in public places. All these overwhelming requests can turn anyone cold towards helping others…to the point of thinking, ” I can’t give, I can hardly get by with what I have!” Paul addressed this in II Corinthians 8:2 – where he explained even though the Church in Macedonia was going through severe trials and extreme poverty, their joy of the Lord overflowed and welled up into rich generosity towards others. God has proven over and over again that you can’t out give Him. So allow joy and thankfulness to fill your heart this Holiday Season as you give generously to others…not out of your lack, but out of His riches.