Joy is celebrating when you want to fear

canldes in glass jars in decorated box

Advent- week 3, the celebration of Joy.

Then the angel told her: ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end‘” (Luke 1:26-33).

What’s the first thing angels say to mortals? It’s standard protocol. In just about every divine encounter the angels say: “Fear not.” I can hear Jesus instruct His most trusted angels. “OK, let’s go over this again … Most of the people that I’ll tell you to speak to will be scared out of their wits! So let’s practice the greeting one more time.” Then the angels would all say in unison, “Fear not.”

The message is clear. God is not looking for ways to scare us into faith. He drew near to us to relieve the worries we have about crossing over the divide between heaven and earth. He wants us to know that He’s going to take care of us no matter what happens. One of the names that He was called long before he ever stepped on this world’s stage was Immanuel meaning “God with us.” No matter what we go through we can whisper this simple truth: “Jesus is with me.” Think about it. He is with you in your greatest victories and your most humiliating defeats. Jesus is with you at all times in all things. (Matt Tullos)

The earth and its people are covered with darkness,
but the glory of the Lord is shining upon you.” Isaiah 60:2

Living close to Me requires making Me your First Love- your highest priority. As you seek My Presence above all else, you experience Peace and Joy in full measure. I also am blessed when you make Me first in your life. While you journey through life in My Presence, My Glory brightens the world around you. -Jesus Calling, Sarah Young

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord. He has given me the strength for my work because he knew that he could trust me.” 1 Timothy 1:12

Waiting on God and abiding in His will is to know him in “participation in his sufferings” (Philippians 3:10) and “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:28). Therefore if God’s desire is to enlarge your capacity for spiritual understanding, do not be frightened by the greater realm of suffering that awaits you. The Lord’s capacity for sympathy is greater still, for the breath of the Holy Spirit into his new creation never makes a heart hard and insensitive, but affectionate, tender, and true. -Streams in the Desert- Anna Shipton

I found this blog yesterday and absolutely fell in love with the Advent presentations (today’s photo is from this blog). If you are looking for a new Advent presentation here are some gorgeous ideas! I’m planning to make one of these next year during our family Thanksgiving celebration- as a way to usher Advent in on the heels of the spirit of Thanksgiving. (Also, that way Advent won’t seem to sneak up so quickly!)

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