A Joyous New Year

A joyous new year to you!

Do those words make you joyous, or do they make you bristle? Is your year off to a great start or a terrible one?

Honestly, mine has been a bit rough. And I know I am not the only one. Some friends and family are going through many difficulties as well. 

My mind could easily run off on a tangent thinking of all the stressors and pains because there are plenty of them to think about: poor health, financial obligations, bad weather, broken relationships, missed appointments, housing issues, heavy disappointments, and dismal failures, just to name a few. But instead of letting my thoughts run roughshod over my brain, I have decided to rein in my thoughts and let Jesus reign in them.

When the tears course down my cheeks, I remember He is with me in the course of this life. 

When my heart and body ache and break, I remember He is the Great Physician and the Great Healer. He will strengthen me and help me.

When the anxiety and fears rise up to overtake me, I remember that my Savior has conquered the grave, and His power lives in me.

The knowledge and understanding of Him brings knowledge and understanding to my world. Pain and problems are no match for the One who holds the universe in His hands. He has defeated hell and death and the enemy of my soul.

When the wind-tossed waves of life threaten to pull me under, He will carry me through the floodwaters, and they will not overwhelm me.

When the storms pound relentlessly at my door, He will speak peace into my heart because I have allowed Him to enter there.

When my problems are perplexing and paralyzing, I can hold on to His faithful hand, and He will guide me through.

I can rejoice, and I can do it always, because the Source of all joy dwells within me; and He will be with me as I traverse every day of the new year, even if it is the most painful day I have ever faced. His presence will go with me, and He Himself will be my joy in the new year.

(The following is from an article I wrote in January 2022)


Joy to the World

Just over 2,000 years ago, the angels brought good news of great joy which was for all people. The Savior of the world had been born!

Jesus, the bundle of joy, was born to bring us a bundle of joy: joy resulting from us having a savior, from having a way to have our sins forgiven, from being gifted eternal life, from having the help of His Spirit, from having the constancy of His presence, from having the provision of our needs.

Jesus brought joy as He grew up. He was bringing love, help, hope, and healing to an untold number of people.

Jesus then brought joy in His resurrection from the dead, offering eternal life to all who would receive it. 

Jesus brings joy now to all who give their hearts to Him.  He walks with them and talks with them and tells them they are His own.

And Jesus will bring joy again when He returns to the earth to gather His own. In His presence there will be fullness of joy, and at His right hand there will be pleasures forevermore.1

Joy to the world!  Jesus came for us and He is coming again!


[W]hom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. 2

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.3


NOTES

1 See Psalm 16:11.

2 1 Peter 1:8–9

3 John 3:16

Scriptures taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.

© Text and photo Francee Strain, January 15, 2023.

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