Love Came Down: Keep Your Joy On
In the run up to Christmas, it seems fitting to talk about our joy.
I’ve been thinking about joy for quite some time now, and how we can be so easily zapped of it when life gets so busy. I am a huge lover of this time of year: wrapping up warm in my boots and scarf, endless hot chocolates by the fire, city lights, friends gathering together, giving and receiving gifts.
But yet, every year I find myself feeling stressed and overwhelmed the week before. I worry about whether or not I’ve bought the right gifts for people or I’ll feel annoyed at myself that I haven’t found the time to see a friend I haven’t seen in six months.
During what’s supposed to be the ‘most wonderful time of the year’, I’m left feeling drained and exhausted with a million and one things going through my mind. Last Christmas, I remember asking:
How can I hold on tightly to my joy when I feel so out of control?
Well, I think a good place to start is by remembering that it’s the Holy Spirit that gives us our deep joy. Without the Holy Spirit, there is no joy.
Joy is a by-product of our relationship with God. It comes from knowing Him deeply, and believing what He says about you. It is a lifetime of work and there’s no quick fix. But there’s no better time to start than today.
When you live your life under the authority of the Holy Spirit rather than your own, joy is one of the natural outcomes. You can’t earn it, you can’t fake it. It is a gift.
Repeatedly in the Bible, God's people are told to celebrate. To laugh, be happy and enjoy what God has done. When we do this, we are remembering that God is the one in control. It’s not up to us to fix the world’s problems, or even our own.
For me, I needed to accept that I wasn’t super human. There’s no way I was going to be able to fit in seeing all my friends who live in various parts of the country in the space of two weeks.
We need to relax. This doesn’t mean that we ignore responsibilities or make light of serious and important things. It only means that we remember who is ultimately in control and rest in that knowledge. Only then can we keep hold of the wonderful deep joy we receive when we walk with Jesus this Christmas time.
Keep your joy on!
Anna graduated from Leeds University in 2015 after studying English, Language and Education. She now works for a charity called ‘Leeds Faith in Schools’ where she spends her days visiting schools across Leeds helping girls to develop a more positive self-image. Anna loves to dance, take walks in the Yorkshire dales and try new food!