I love Christmas! Every year when November rolls around, I start getting in the Christmas spirit. For me, Christmas really is The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! I love the sights, the sounds, the times with family and friends, and I love the story of Christmas! My favorite Christmas carols is Joy To The World! The Christmas season brings me so much JOY! Sadly, in a couple of weeks it will all be over. Like many of you, we’ll take down all the Christmas sights, the Christmas sounds will silence, and we’ll be back to business as usual. The very next week we begin a brand New Year! WOW…It will be 2017!
So, here’s what I want to know: How can we keep the joy of Christmas alive in 2017?
How can we Repeat The Sounding Joy…All Year Long?
You might be reading this and be thinking, “There’s no way this can happen all year-long, because people today aren’t as cheerful as they ought to be.” If we were to ask a dozen people “Why aren’t you more cheerful?” the answers we might be some form of “Bah, humbug!” You might hear people say things like this:
“How can I be joyful with what I’m going through?”
“How can I be filled with joy when my marriage is falling apart?”
“I don’t feel joy because God seems so far away?”
“My kids don’t drive me to joy, they drive me nuts!”
“I lost my job! Where’s the joy in that?”
“If I had more money, I’d have more joy.”
In spite of all that, I think I may have found the answer to how we can Repeat The Sounding Joy…All Year Long!
This week as I was reading the Bible and praying during my quiet time with the Lord, I was studying the book of Philippians. When I got all the way through, it hit me! The Apostle Paul is telling us how to Repeat The Sounding Joy…All Year Long! It’s been right in front of me in Philippians chapter 4.
Here is the first thing we can learn from the Apostle Paul.
STAND FIRM IN THE LORD
Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
Paul had a beautiful relationship with the church at Philippi. It was a relationship that continued to grow out of the fellowship in the gospel. Paul loves this church. They were his joy and crown. The church at Philippi had always been a real joy for Paul. Because of this kind of pastoral relationship Paul had with the church, he reminds them that in the midst of trials, we can Repeat The Sounding Joy…All Year Long!
The text says, “Stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.” When Paul writes this, He chose to write in such a way that gives us the imagery of a soldier staying faithfully at his post no matter what happens around him. Even if the enemy attacks, the soldier’s orders are clear: Stand Firm!
I think Paul had a healthy respect for the devil’s attempts to discourage and distract the children of God. He knew that we would be tempted to leave our post when the bullets of temptation start whizzing by our heads. Instead of leaving and facing disappointment, Stand Firm! Standing Firm gives us the first step to Repeat The Sounding Joy…All Year Long!
As this Christmas season comes to an end, and as we begin 2017, it will become so easy to get distracted and forget Jesus, and the JOY He brings when the times get tough. Here are a few ways to help us keep the joy all year-long.
- Stand Firm in the Lord with a deep-rooted relationship in Christ!
- Stand Firm in the Lord with a consistent connection with other Christians!
- Stand Firm in the Lord with a passion to focus on making disciples and sharing the Gospel of Jesus with lost people.
This is something I can do! This is something we can all do, if we truly want to Repeat The Sounding Joy…All Year Long!
In tomorrow’s post, we’ll see that Paul rapidly fires off several ways to truly Stand Firm in the Lord and in the end Repeat The Sounding Joy…All Year Long!