Not a Storybook Christmas (Week 3) - Sadness

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SERIES BIG IDEA:

Jesus comes into the pain of my story to bring me hope, peace, and joy, because He loves me.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

Jesus came to be my source of joy.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

This week’s message focuses on joy as God wants us to understand it.  Hope is the confidence of our salvation; peace is the comfort in our salvation; joy is the anticipation of the fulfillment of our salvation.  Joy is the evidence of Jesus in us. It is not the absence of sadness, but the power of hope alive in our trials. Joy isn’t an emotion to be felt, but a gift to be received, as we trust in Jesus.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

Where do people look, besides Jesus, to find their joy?  How do you distinguish joy from happiness?

Respond to the statement by C. S. Lewis—Joy is the opposite of hopelessness.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. 1 Peter 1:8 (NIV)

How would you explain to someone that though you have not seen Jesus, you love Him?

Can you recall a time when you experienced the calm assurance of God’s presence during your sorrow?

Read Romans 15:13. What is your part in this verse?  Who does the rest?  What is the result?  Why would it be important for people who love Jesus to know this?

End your time in prayer asking God to help to know the joy of His salvation.

Other Scriptures to Read:

Nehemiah 8:10

Psalm 145:7

John 15:11

Galatians 5:22-23