It can be hard for many of us to find the joy and peace talked about around Christmas time. Many of us are reminded of the conflict that we have with others and how our year didn’t go exactly the way we had hoped. For others of us, the fear and anxiety of our circumstances seem to suck the life, joy, and peace we want to feel right out of us. We are often reminded of the brokenness of this world and life doesn’t seem to be how it should be. Over the next few weeks of this Christmas season, we will be taking a look at what it means to experience the joy God wants for us and how we can begin to experience the joy and peace of Christmas regardless of the circumstances around us.
After having talked about all of these ways to find joy in our lives, it would be nice if this knowledge would automatically clean up the messes in our lives and pave a smooth path for us in the future. But the truth that often can bring us back to doubt or discouragement is that we will experience hardship in the future. We might not be able to restore the relationship or find the forgiveness we seek. We will have hardships come our way again and have to struggle through at times. But how in the world can we...Watch Message
Have you ever received a gift that just blew you away? Something that you weren't necessarily expecting and maybe even something that you didn't deserve. How did you feel when you opened that gift? Around Christmas, we talk a lot about giving and receiving gifts, but what if the best gift you've ever been given was still unopened. What if was there, ready for the taking, and all you had to do was accept it. This Christmas, we talk about the gift that God gave to us, Jesus. Not a gift that requires a certain performance from us, but...Watch Message
While most of us want to live a life defined by joy and contentment, it seems incredibly difficult to obtain and at times almost impossible. Whether it is comparison, outside circumstances, or other people that rob our joy, something always seems to right there threatening to steal away the joy we want. And honestly, for many of us, the biggest reason that we can't find joy is because of the deep, disappointment that we have with ourselves. So how can experiencing joy become easy? How can that be the default reaction we have when bad things come our way....Watch Message
If you were to list the things that steal your joy what would they be? Many of would say things like money, or the way others treat us, or maybe life not being fair. But in those answers we find a common factor. Our joy is often "stolen" when we are most concerned with the things that affect our lives. When things don't go how we intended, we feel that we have the right to be upset and be joyless. If we're honest, we all want our own way. We all want our lives to be smooth and comfortable...Watch Message
We all want to be happy. In fact, we all spend a significant amount of time in pursuit of things that make us feel happy. If we were given a choice everyday on whether to feel happiness or not, most of it would without thinking choose happiness. But it doesn't take long to realize that the brokenness of our world and the brokenness inside of us is at odds with our quest for happiness and at times, the storms of life make it close to impossible to find happiness. In the first week of our series, we take a...Watch Message