If you remember what I wrote last week, you will know that the LOVE candle is lit every night. This candle lights the other candles. On the first night of Chanukah, you light the “servant candle” and then use it to light the JOY candle.
JOY! So many verses about JOY. Where does a person start?
Ecclesiastes 9:7 So go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God has already accepted your deeds. (CJB)
Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat rich food, drink sweet drinks, and send portions to those who can’t provide for themselves; for today is consecrated to our Lord. Don’t be sad, because the joy of Adonai is your strength.” (CJB)
Psalm 47:2 Clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with cries of joy! (CJB)
John 16:22 So you do indeed feel grief now, but I am going to see you again. Then your hearts will be full of joy, and no one will take your joy away from you. (CJB)
Philemon 1:7 For your love has given me much joy and encouragement. Brother, you have refreshed the hearts of God’s people. (CJB)
JOY, based on these verses, can be something we experience personally, or it can be something that someone else feels based on something we have done (see the verse from Philemon).
I don’t want to base my actions on what I feel. Feelings will come and go. It is my personal belief that JOY is much deeper than happiness. JOY, in my opinion, can be something present in our lives whether we “feel happy” or not. Therefore, JOY should be something that we carry in us always.
IF the JOY of Adonai is our strength (Nehemiah), and we BELIEVE and TRUST that Adonai is WHO He says He is, than we should have JOY no matter the circumstances around us.
This is a struggle. It is so easy to get caught in the negative this world spreads. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others and than lose heart because we don’t live like they do. It is so easy to “live in the moment” and feelings that we forget WHOSE we are and how HE wants us to live.
As we prepare for Chanukah and understand HIS LOVE for us, we should be able to stop and CARRY JOY. As we are HIS LIGHT to the world in need, they should see HIS JOY inside of us. Even when frustrating moments come, our JOY should be apparent to those we meet because HIS strength is inside of us.
How do you share JOY??? I don’t believe we have to act all crazy or out of control. We simply need to smile and show laughter and love. Sincerity goes a long way when you are with others. Paul felt “refreshed” from the JOY Philemon shared with him. I like that… we need to leave people feeling “refreshed” when we share HIS JOY to those around us.
Because Chanukah is the Festival of Lights, here is a verse about LIGHT:
John 12:36 While you have the light, put your trust in the light, so that you may become people of light.” Yeshua said these things, then went off and kept himself hidden from them. (CJB)
When you TRUST HIS LIGHT, YOU become a LIGHT. Today, bring JOY and REFRESHMENT by being HIS LIGHT to those around you.
Love and blessings,