“Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 12:6).

The birth of the Christ child is the ultimate declaration of God’s presence in the world; a nearness that becomes the catalyst of joy in any given circumstance. I find no biblical basis for the notion that faith somehow exempts us from the trials of life; nor is faith the silver bullet that makes hardships disappear. Rather, such things become the very crucible through which the character of our faith is forged. My only desire is the assurance of God’s presence; that somehow, all of this serves some greater purpose that my finite mind cannot now comprehend. If you believe this to be so, your joy will not be lacking, but made full.

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