Advent 2015 // The Lord Guides Us to Joy

Image by Cailin Valente

Image by Cailin Valente

Psalm 16 Matthew 10:29-31

This particular Psalm is a favorite of mine. It reminds me that no matter what happens, I can always trust in the Lord and take refuge with him. In an ideal situation, we always keep the Lord in our hearts.

It’s especially relevant during Advent. Even in the midst of all the rushing, the Lord is with us. We can see it in the children playing in the snow. We can see it in people who volunteer to help the homeless. We can see it in the smiles of our family and friends.

Some of us may find it hard to trust in the Lord.

But as the Psalm says

“those who choose another god multiply their sorrows.”

We may not bow down before statues of cows, but many of us would rather find comfort in things such as wealth, pleasure, power and honor. In this time of year, wealth and pleasure are especially tempting idols. Like Ebenezer Scrooge, we can hold onto our things like a miser. We can also overindulge in shopping or eating too much or drooling over attractive actors. None of these things are bad in and of themselves, but none of them will fulfill us the way that God does.

There’s a beautiful song by Audrey Assad called “Sparrow” which is inspired by today’s passage from the Gospel of Matthew. It’s a song that expresses the joy of knowing that God is always with us. We have joy in the Lord because we are truly free with Him.

This type of freedom can seem limiting at first. So many rules. And yet, how many of us had to learn the various rules and techniques of cooking or playing an instrument? Once we learn how to play the basic scales and chords of a piano, for example, we are free to learn how to play jazz and rock and pop melodies. When we learn how to cook, we are free to make whatever kinds of meals we want. When we trust in the Lord, we find joy in the fact that the Lord gives us the freedom to be the best version of ourselves.

Today, I pray that you will find the joy of trusting in the Lord and that in his freedom, you will grow into the best version of yourself.

Study Questions

1.What are things that we allow to be the center of our lives instead of God?

2.Why do you think giving ourselves to God is what allows us to be completely free?

3.What are some ways that God can guide us to joy?

This year's study journal is broken into 4 parts. 

To view each, please scroll to the middle of the above link.