“Delivered from Sorrow” – Ian France – 17.12.2023

Week 3 – Joy

Spend some time every day during Advent considering the Word of God and your relationship with Him.
Open your mind and heart as you read the passages of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.
Spend some time in worship – listen to a praise song, read a poem or a psalm of praise.

Day 1 Rejoice
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice.
What makes you want to rejoice today? What makes it difficult for you to do so? Speak to God about any challenges you may have in response to this verse. Tell Him about your struggles. Then spend a while listening for His response. What does He say to you? How do you respond?
Pray: Abba, thank you for listening to me. Sometimes I am not sure I hear You well. I find it hard to identify Your voice from my own and that of the world. Please make Your response so clear to me that I have no doubt I have heard Your words and can rejoice in our relationship. Always. Amen.

Day2 Full of Joy
John 16:24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy may be complete.
When did you last ask God for something in His name? What was the result? Today spend some time alone with God and lift up your hands in praise as you rest in His presence. May He bless you with answered prayers today – whether yes, no or wait – that you may rejoice in Him.
Pray: Abba, sometimes I don’t have the words to praise You and thank You for Your presence in my life. So, as I sit in silent adoration, hear the prayer of my heart as I worship You. Amen

Day 3 Show your Joy
Psalm 47:1 Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
Think of a small child expressing delight in something. They clap their hands and laugh with joy. Do the same in front of your God today as you think of things that delight you. Don’t allow the presence of anyone else hinder you. Be childlike and joyful before the Lord.
Pray: Abba, it is difficult to let myself go in childlike delight when other people are around. Help me to focus on You and what it means to You that I express my joy in You in a way that is uninhibited. May my expression of joy give You joy, Abba. Amen

Day 4 Glorious Joy
1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now,  you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Tell God you love Him in a way you would not usually use. Write a Psalm or a poem; or even a sentence, draw a picture. How can you show your love for Him in a different way?
Pray: Abba, I feel a bit of a fool. I am not a poet, or a writer, or an artist. Yet I think of the joy a small child’s efforts bring to me and so I offer You this different expression of my love for You in an attempt to show You just how much I do love You; and what the gift of Your Son means to me. Thank you, Abba, for it all. Amen.

Day 5 Complete Joy
John 15:9-12 As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
How do you feel when you consider that Jesus loves you and that you give Him joy? Does it encourage you to live your life the way He wants you to live it? What struggles do you have in regard to your responses to these questions? Speak to God about it today and listen for His response.
Pray: Abba, I try to do Your will, but I do not always find it easy. Please help me to understand what You want me to do, and give me the love I need to follow You without question. Abba, You have given me so much when You sent Your Son for me. Help me to show You what that means to me this Christmas. Amen.

Verse 3 of the poem Arrival

There’s a hint of something happening across the world this hour
A trembling premonition, a prickling of power,
As kings traverse the desert sand seeking the star so bright,
Can it be they ride to find a new born Child this night?
Advent 4 – 24.12.2023
Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.

Verse 4 of the poem Arrival

He is coming! He is coming! Can you hear the heavens ring?
He is coming! He is coming! Can you hear the angels sing?
He is coming from His Father God, a heavenly gift to bring
Of peace on earth, eternal life! Come! Praise the Infant King!


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