A Recipe for Joy


Do you remember when you were a child, the joy of waking up the day after Christmas, knowing you were “free” for several days, and the anticipation of playing with all of your new Christmas toys and how exciting that was? That would be me … today! Santa Baby gave me the Pioneer Woman cookware, cookbook and crockpot and I’m beyond happy … and ready to do some cooking! After the newness wears off, I hope my excitement and joy over this wonderful gift remains the same! Kind of like the gift of eternal salvation I received from Jesus. Is it still exciting? Is my joy as great as it was when I first received His gift? Am I still as motivated to share His gospel with others as I once was?

A temporary loss of joy or zeal can happen in every Christian’s life at one time or another. Sometimes it’s our own fault because maybe we’ve stepped away from our daily conversations with the Lord or reading His Word … or perhaps we’ve succumbed to temptation and fallen into sin. Sometimes it is because we’re facing unpleasant, burdensome circumstances that are weighing us down and stealing our joy. Whatever the cause, the most important thing to realize is we don’t have to remain that way. And it’s important that we don’t!

His Word so clearly, firmly, but lovingly teaches us His thoughts about this and how we should respond.

But I have this [charge] against you, that you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me]. So remember the heights from which you have fallen, and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will] and do the works you did at first [when you first knew Me]. (Revelation 2:4-5 Amp)

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,and sinners shall be converted and return to You. (Psalm 51:12-13)

Always be full of joy in the Lord! Again, I say rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

“For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord! (Luke 2:10-11) For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16 Amp) And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

I wish each and every one of you a very Merry, Joy-Filled Christmas that lasts all year long!

-Cheri Henderson

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