Joy is elusive. Just when we think we have found it, joy can be snatched from us in a single moment. Despair threatens to take its place and we find ourselves searching again for meaning.

In times like these, it is as important as ever to seek the quiet, to wait with anticipation that joy will return. These next moments hold the promise of just such a time.

When you are ready, click on “The Word of God” below for today's scripture and then continue to follow the remaining steps of the devotion.

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Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

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This time of year we can often feel pressure to be happy all the time. Every time we turn around, there’s the expectation of giddy happiness. But, as we were reminded this week again, human life is hard. Sometimes we struggle; often we’re in pain. Sometimes joy is the last thing we feel about our lives, even during the Christmas season.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians about a different kind of joy than we see in holiday television commercials. He told them to rejoice…in the Lord. Rejoicing in the knowledge that God is with us is completely different than just being happy all the time. A deep and abiding joy will bring so much more than happiness: we’ll know the peace of God that will keep our hearts and our minds. This is surely something to be joyful about.

Amy Butler

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Help me look past the commercial cheer of the season today and instead find the real joy that comes from following you. Amen.

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Move quietly now through your day.
Joy, peace and hope remain.
Seek out the company of friends,
Remind yourself that God is near,
And allow small moments of joy to return
For the healing of your heart.

Amy Butler

Amy Butler has served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. since 2003. In her free time Amy loves to travel, read, garden, and write. She often comments on faith and life in general on her blog, Talk With the Preacher. You can also read her columns every two weeks on Associated Baptist Press. Amy lives with her family in Washington, D.C.

Wexford Carol - O Come Little Children

David Burroughs

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