Joy Out Loud

by Dec 12, 2019Christmas, Christmas 2019, Devotional

“How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.” ~ Luke 1:25 (NLT)

Have you ever met someone with an overwhelmingly positive attitude? Sometimes it can be annoying to be around people who are always cheerful and upbeat, sprinkling verbal sugary sunshine wherever they go. Unless you know their story. When I know someone who has been through hardship and yet remains joy-filled, their positive attitude becomes meaningful.

Elizabeth was such a person. Her story is woven in with the account of her husband, Zechariah, being visited by the angel Gabriel and informed about the coming birth of their son, John. While Zechariah responded with skepticism, Elizabeth’s response was an out-loud exclamation of joy. A child would mean the end of her shameful barrenness. She makes no mention of the inconvenience of her husband’s temporary muteness, but gives God all the praise for blessing her in this way (Luke 1:25).

Fast forward a few months to when Mary, freshly pregnant herself, comes to visit her cousin Elizabeth. The moment Mary says hello, the baby inside Elizabeth’s womb leaps for joy. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth has the distinction of being the very first person in the Bible to declare that Jesus is Lord.

She could have responded in many other ways. She could have grumbled about Zechariah’s lack of faith. She could have been jealous that Mary was the one to give birth to the Savior. She could have launched into a complaint about swollen ankles, sciatica or exhaustion. Instead, her faith-filled declaration at Mary’s arrival flows from a heart of joy. She has known the suffering of years of barrenness and disgrace, but hasn’t allowed it to make her bitter. Her positive response keeps the focus on God and His blessings to both herself and Mary.

Maybe you need an attitude check today. Perhaps there is a source of frustration or trouble in your life that is weighing you down. Try borrowing from Elizabeth’s example and joyously proclaiming out loud God’s blessings to you and your loved ones.

Read Luke 1:24-25, 39-45

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