Advent Devotional: Monday, December 3

Scripture: Philippians 3:3-6 NIV
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Devotional Thought:
How do you pray with joy? That is how Paul describes his prayer for the good people in Phillippi. Since joy is an emotion evoked by well-being it is even more remarkable. For Paul writes this letter in prison to a people who are struggling to become a church. No sign of well-being in those two situations. And yet, Paul is joyful.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. You can’t buy it in a store or find it on a street corner. Joy, true joy, must be received as a gift of grace and opened moment by moment. That is why I often find myself in hospital rooms visiting people and can often find joy. The reason isn’t because of the circumstances the patient finds themselves in but rather from the hope that comes from knowing that no matter what today holds we know who holds tomorrow. And I discover over and over that makes all the difference.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you are the great giver of joy. May I take up your gift in this moment even if it means I must put down what I am carrying that prevents me from experiencing your joy.