Joy- Advent Week Three

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1 Peter 2v9 ‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declares the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wondrous light.’

 

Our lives have been utterly transformed because of Jesus’s coming. This is why we look at joy during advent because we rejoice that Jesus came, God saw the brokenness of humanity. God’s greatest gift to humanity was salvation and redemption.  Joy of knowing our lives have been changed for the better. That darkness and sin has lost its grasp. That we can walk in a new hope and in a new relationship with God. Where we are loved and where we are welcomed. That there is purpose. No matter what we face now, we are never doing it alone. Being able to share that joy with others. The world’s view of joy does not have to be ours.

 

What drains your joy… maybe it is time to distance yourself.

We are blessed with many technological advances and many forms of escapism and many luxuries at our fingertips. They can be a source of joy but they can also quickly become our masters. I have such a weakness with social media, that I feel like I must know what is going on and I have to be present. I will spend hours trailing through but I always come away feeling empty and unfulfilled. The truth is I have put my worth in what I have posted, and I believe that will bring me joy. It is such a broken way to look at joy.  Francesca Battesttistelli highlights this in her song ‘Let the light in’. In which she writes ‘I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more alone. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt really known.’ Our joy should come from knowing that we do have worth, even when our lives our not splashed all over the internet. One lesson I am learning is that I can go and live my life, without having to tell everyone else what I am doing. If I was to look at all the time I use on social media, I could be using it to pursue a new passion.

Social media is not necessarily a bad thing within itself, many people use it as a creative outlet. However, it can easily entrap you when you do not know your self-worth and what you value.

 

We need to remember that with social media that there is certain trends and certain ways you need to keep up with. If you do not, you fall behind. We all know social media stars who have sacrificed who they are, to get more views and more likes. It destroys them because they have lost who they are due to how people want them to be.  This can happen to anyone, regardless of the followers and views that they have.  I do not know how attracted and involved you are in social media; please be careful that you do not lose yourself trying to be something you never intended to be.  Learn to live your life with passion and joy, knowing that you are loved and gifted in many ways. You do not owe social media your identity. Learn to shut your phone down for a while and creatively pursue what you are passionate about.  You are so incredibly loved, that is a message I share with everyone I meet. Each one of you has a purpose and you are in this world for a reason. No matter how grim life looks, when you live with a passionate drive you will know joy. The Lord delights in you, because you are his child. When you are using the gifts and the attributes, he has given you, to bless other people and bless society, the Lord delights in you.

Here are some ways that I record my life.

I do a lot of journaling. I try to journal each day about the positives, the negatives, what I am learning and what I do next. That is something personal I do which enables me to grow and to remember the day. I also started in September doing the five year journal where you answer a question a day, I am loving it, I will be 27 by the time it finishes and I am looking forward to looking back at how I have grown. I still take loads of photos but those are for my own pleasure.

Find joy in the life you have been given or find joy in the passions you have. May we rejoice as we get closer to Christmas day, as we remember Jesus the greatest gift ever given to humanity.

May you have a blessed week. Love Victoria. xx

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