Have you ever planned a huge event that you were so excited about and wanted to get just right? Like a birthday or anniversary party? Or a wedding? As the big day approaches you are full of joyful anticipation and even though you’re busy with all the details you try to enjoy as much of it as you can, relishing the moments, taking it all in. Then the wonderful event takes place and you rejoice in the euphoria of it. But the days after can feel like a bit of a let down.
I mean, you planned, prepped, worked toward, looked forward to it for so long that now life feels a little bit emptier when all the fun and busyness is over. So you slowly make your way back into the daily grind and give yourself over to the mundane duties of the day.
The Christmas season can feel that way…can’t it?
Perhaps to a lesser extent than say, your wedding, but nonetheless there can often be the let down after all the joy, shopping and parties. Vacation ends. Work and school start back. You try to follow through on those new resolutions.
But here’s the thing…
The hope, love, joy and peace that were a part of the the Advent season, the lead-up to Christmas day, can be with us all year when Jesus is our focus. And really, these four traits are all related to each other as we remain in Jesus.
So, take heart in these reminders.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:3, ESV)
+Without hope our heart can feel dead. Connecting with the God of Hope fills us with hope when we are depleted.
“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” (Psalm 4:7, ESV)
+God brings a greater abundance of true joy than any amount of material wealth.
Jesus says, “I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27, NLT)
+I have learned that peace truly is a choice. No matter what happens in our day, we can choose to hold onto the peace God offers.
But Most of All…
“May you experience the love of Christ…Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:19, NLT)
+When we experience the God of Love, we are transformed. Made new. And then we are able to extend that love to others.
As the new year approaches and the holiday season winds down remember that you can experience hope, joy, peace and love daily as you remain in Jesus.
Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…” (John 15:5, NIV)