Day 26 — Thursday, December 23, 2021

When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negeb!
Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126

As we prepare for Christmas, it seems for me that I am always more stressed about all that is going on around me than ready to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Family stresses, rushing to get to the next event, family dynamics, along with the constant pull of the world create opportunities for less joy than what God intended. In today’s scripture we see what brings joy. The ability to look back and to celebrate all that God has done. 

“We were filled with laughter, 
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! 
What joy!

Psalm 126:2–3 (NLT)

In celebrating the amazing things He has done for us, the Lord promises to not only bring joy to us but also to allow others to see the joy in us. Our celebration of the goodness of God multiplies out and impacts those around us.

So today I would challenge you to do one thing. Stop rushing, stressing, running for just a few minutes and take time to look back on all God has done for you — and celebrate!! Whether your year has been filled with unexpected blessings or sorrows, the Lord has done great things, and taking the time to celebrate will bring joy.  

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22–23

Tim Schoonveld is the director of athletics at Hope College.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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