Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. Psalms 47:1 NIV
In Kirk, Jordan, and Anthony's formative years, Janice and I spent many hours sitting on the bleachers at athletic events. Like with any sport, sometimes the team wins, and others lose. We were happy when they won, or despite the loss, they individually played well. We were less delighted when they lost or won but had a bad game. Our happiness was situational. But our joy never decreased; we were joyful to be there together as a family through wins and losses.
Today we light the third Advent candle, the rose-colored one, for joy (note it's not the candle of happiness.) We praise and worship God for the joy brought by Jesus Christ. Although, as disciples, we will have times of happiness and unhappiness based on our situation, we can experience continual joy because of Jesus Christ. Thanks to his coming, we have been reconciled with the Father, and our sins have been forgiven.
Heavenly Father, we worship you with joyful hearts because of the contentment we've found through Jesus Christ. We thank you for the Holy Spirit, which keeps that joy alive. Please help us to remember our gladness in every situation and give praise. Amen.