December 11. Day Fifteen



“The third candle symbolizes JOY and is called the “Shepherd’s Candle.” To the shepherd’s great joy, the angels announced that Jesus came for humble, unimportant people like them, too.” (

December 11 – Psalm 65

Joy. Let’s talk about the difference between joy and that feeling of happiness that comes and goes in such fickle fashion. Google Dictionary defines happy this way: “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment” Feeling happy is quite lovely, isn’t it? However, life situations, hormones, temperament, and choices can all affect how happy we feel at times. Life has its ups and downs and sadness is an inevitable part of life. So, what about the Christian attribute of joy? Is it basically just feeling pleasure or contentment or is it something more?

Let’s look at a verse in 1 Thessalonians to catch a glimpse of this “something more” that the Christian attribute of joy holds for us: “So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 1:6 NLT). Paul says that despite “severe suffering” they still had joy. Joy, as we know, is a fruit of the Spirit. It’s sheer gift from God. Here’s how the organization Just Disciple defines it:

The biblical definition of joy says that joy is a feeling of good pleasure and happiness that is dependent on who Jesus is rather than on who we are or what is happening around us. Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, abiding in God’s presence and from hope in His word.

 It’s possible to be in very hard times and still feel a rush of joy straight from the heart of God to your own hurting heart. Ever had that happen? When I was a caregiver for my father-in-law, bone-weary at times, God would meet me in the mornings during quiet time and whisper His love to me. Right in the middle of deep tiredness would come that joy and I knew I could carry on with His strength when mine had run out. That’s Christian joy. Sheer gift from our wonderful Father!

 Wasn’t our psalm today a beautiful expression of joy? From the joy of forgiven sins to imagery of fields and meadows being joyful … this psalm rang with praises. No matter how hard our daily lives might be at the moment, there IS a God in Heaven who loves us and who continues to send sunshine by day and cool moonlight at night. He forgives. He loves sacrificially and without wavering, and He cares for us. For that … even in the midst of troubles … we, too, can shout for joy!

 My verse: Psalm 65:8 “Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.”

My response: Lord give me eyes to see the miracles and wonders You shower on us every day: The starry host above my head … the warmth of sun on my face … the delight of a crackling fire in the fireplace … hot soup to nourish … ALL from Your good hands. Everyday I should be shouting for joy for these gifts of abundance. Help me see!

5 Minute Selah Moment – Take time to read through or listen to or sing “Joy to the World.” Every verse. Be blessed!


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