“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” – Luke 2:10
Last year at this time, I choose the word joy to be my mantra for 2017, and I began searching scripture for passages about increasing joy. God showed me through each passage I read that true joy would only be experienced through obedience to Him. Enter fear. What about being obedient induces fear rather than joy? For me, it’s the question of what will God ask of me? What step of obedience is He wanting me to take? Will those obedient steps lead to joy?
The answer is yes! It’s interesting that the dictionary defines joy as both a noun and a verb, a thing, and an action. Therefore, joy can and should be an action. When we act joyful, we are being obedient to God.
In the midst of this Advent season, I’m reminded to not fear because joy is found in obedience. In Luke 2:10, the angel told the shepherds “fear not”, but rather to obediently go in joy to see the baby who was sent to save the world. I’m also reminded of Mary, the mother of Jesus. What joy she must have experienced through her obedience to carry the baby that was going to be the Saviour of the world! And Joseph, who obediently followed through with his marriage to Mary, the woman who was carrying a child that wasn’t his. Imagine the joy he would have missed had he not been obedient to his calling.
Joy does come in obedience. In fact, joy is an act of obedience. One that requires a daily choice, regardless of our circumstances. Today, I choose joy.
What about you? Are you obediently following God’s plan? Are you experiencing the fullness of His joy that comes from obedience to His will? What’s holding you back from experience true joy?
As I began my path to joy through daily obedience to God’s call, the Wings of Refuge board was simultaneously obediently creating a three-year strategic plan to carry God’s mission forward with excellence. That plan includes four major goals:
Increase Financial Stability
Ensure Organizational Excellence
Broaden Our Influence
As 2017 comes to a close, and we review steps taken towards our strategic plan, we find ourselves at a crossroad, still $96,420 short of our current budget, and we need your help. The future of Wings of Refuge is ultimately in God’s hands, and we trust that He will provide. Will that provision come through you? Could this be the step of obedience that brings you joy?
Has God provided abundantly for you? Would obediently sharing that abundance bring you joy? Joy in partnering with Wings of Refuge to increase our financial stability. Joy in knowing your contributions will ensure organizational excellence to the woman we serve. Joy in sharing the mission with your friends and family and thus broaden not only Wings of Refuge’s influence, but more importantly, God’s kingdom influence. Joy in providing a permanent home along with a transitional living home for survivors to be restored and find new life.
Each month our newsletter includes a personal story of hope and restoration, beauty from ashes, and pictures of daily celebrations in our home. Through the year we hope you have been uplifted and inspired in knowing that even among the fear, pain, and doubt, God’s joy is abundant as we obediently follow His call to provide restoration for one more girl.
Will you join us? Will you joyfully give restoration?
May joy fill your hearts and homes this Christmas. God bless.