Dearest Reader, 

We’re in the third week of Advent, small moments moving us closer to the manger. Closer still, to “Grace In A Manger”.

Essays From A Chronic Life are short essays with Scripture, notes from my journal, and short prayers. I hope you will join me as we move toward the celebration of the birth of our Savior: Immanuel, God With Us.

We have examined  Hope and Peace.

Hope in a manger comes bringing peace, covers us with love and wraps us in grace.”

Joy is a feeling or state of well being and contentment.

Joy, soul-deep joy is unreachable without the Holy Spirit in us.

In his work, Suprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis said this:

“All Joy reminds. It is never a possession, always a desire for something longer ago or further away or ‘still about to be’.”

Joy is the essence of Christ in us. A fragrant aroma that touches hearts, and cultivates holy curiosity. “A desire for something longer ago or further away or ‘still about to be’.”

The essence of Christ in us radiates joy. We cannot manufacture this kind of inner delight. It bubbles up from within and shows in every part of our being.

A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed.” Ecclesiastes 8:1 (ESV)

True wisdom comes from our Heavenly Father.

As a result, wisdom is knowledge of God and his Word. The more we know the Father, the more jubilant we become. Therefore, our countenance changes.

This feeling of delight is held even in sorrow and hard circumstances. In sickness and in health. With scarcity or with abundance. A feeling that produces “even if” (Habakuk 3) faith.

Joy is a gift of grace, unmerited favor from above. We cannot produce it, only receive. 

We receive it through Immanuel: God With Us.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we confess our arrogance and belief that we can somehow manufacture what can only come from you.

We are lacking and desperate, and in our desperation, for hope, peace, and joy we limit the gifts of grace you have for us. 

Father, may we open our hearts today to receive what only you can give.

Hope.

Peace.

Joy. 

Amen

Dearest One, in this season of Advent, set aside time to bask in the presence of Immanuel: God With Us. 

He will meet you there.

Lastly, I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness. You can comment below or send a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com.

Your Wilderness Guide,

 

*In January we will pick up with Ezra, chapter seven. Until then, you can catch up here.

*Scripture quotes are from Bible.com

PS: Catch my in-depth teaching: What We Have In Common With the Disciples from Mark 8!!

If you have been following my Instagram Stories, by now, you’ve heard about the H.E.A.R. Method and H.E.A.R. Journal. I would love to have you join me on this journey. The H.E.A.R. Method of studying the Bible has taken me more in-depth than ever before! If you would like to learn more email me at tlmashburn@yahoo.com 

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today.

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word