Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 

In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:41-45 (NIV)

Lord Jesus, this is simply an amazing story. John the Baptist leapt for joy in Elizabeth’s womb, just because he was in close proximity to you while you were in Mary’s womb. And yet, it is so consistent with who you are, and how you long for us to know you.

In your presence there is the fullness of joy—a fulness you ask the Father to fill us with (John 17:13). Thank you, Jesus. Help us believe nothing and no one has to change for this prayer to be answered in our lives.

We don’t need a different story, less suffering, or more guarantees to experience your joy in the core of our hearts. The joy you give transcends (and transforms) tears, circumstances, and heartaches. Make this increasingly real to us during the season of Advent 2019.

As the Gospel does its work in our hearts, we want to offer you more worship than whining, and more gratitude than grumbling. Just knowing you, or rather, being known and loved by you, makes us incalculably rich, Jesus.

For we are “always with you; you hold us by our right hand. You guide us with your counsel, and afterward you will take us into glory. Who do we have in heaven but you? And earth has nothing we desire besides you. Our flesh and our heart may fail, but you are the strength of our heart and our portion forever” (Psalm 73:23-26). Hallelujah! So very Amen we pray, in your near and joy-full name.