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The unlikely path to joy



  • December 11, 2016
Mandi Corbett

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Advent is about anticipation, celebration, miracles … and joy.

But we often forget it’s also a season of lament — a season when we recognize our need for a Savior. Acknowledging our longing for wholeness is the means through which we truly experience the joy of Christ’s coming.

Just a quick glance at the unfolding atrocities in Aleppo, Syria, gives plenty of evidence that our world is groaning for redemption. Countless innocent civilians remain trapped in war-torn Aleppo, and every day, traumatized children wake up wondering if this day will be their last.

“My soul could be taken any time by the bombs here,” 7-year-old Bana wrote on Twitter from her home in Aleppo.

As ISIS continues its bloody rampage and global tensions continue to rise, the need for redemption has never been more apparent. And hope still remains through our Savior.

But it’s not just our world in crisis that points to our need for a rescuer, it’s also the heartbreaks, disappointments, and difficult experiences we face every day that, though painful, serve as reminders that there’s more to the story. They disrupt our security in a broken, temporary world and teach us to set our hearts on heaven.

Advent is a season to acknowledge the ache in our hearts for eternity … for all that is wrong in the world to be made right. Taking time to recognize this longing allows us to comprehend more deeply the amazing gift we have in Jesus.

Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”

 

Only those who have the courage to acknowledge their own darkness, and the darkness of our troubled world, can truly behold the light that dawned on us at the incarnation.

We must understand our need for a Savior to fully experience the joy of receiving one.

This Advent season, allow yourself to acknowledge the difficulties you’re facing and to grieve the suffering in our world today. Then choose to hand over your worries and heartache to the only God who can truly replace them with peace and healing …

“And His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

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