5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; 7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; 8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. 9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. 10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
The Joy that Sustains
by Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D.
In the season of Advent, Christians excitedly prepare for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus Christ and the return of Jesus at the second coming.
However, this year some people may be asking themselves how they are going to experience joy this year when we are all facing the BIGGEST pandemic in centuries, political strife and heightened racism.
Joy is defined as "a feeling of great pleasure and happiness" or "gladness that comes from grace!"
Joy has become more important than ever this year. We must remember that God still wants us to be JOYFUL.
We must remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," Philippians 4:13. This passage is a witness to the importance of having faith in God. If He brings us to it; He will bring us through it.
The Lord certainly does not want Christians to be joyless. The Bible reminds us that the joy He gives is "inexpressible and full of glory," and able to sustain us in the worst of circumstances, 1Peter 1:6-8. Furthermore, the Lord has made it possible for Christians to say, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4.
Psalms 146:5-10 NIV reminds us: God is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
The LORD reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.
NOTHING lasts forever.
Trouble doesn't last FOREVER. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:1-5. We are about to celebrate the greatest joy we could ever know, the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
With this in mind, we can all expect to—once again—experience Joy unspeakable Joy.
Remain truthful. Remain steadfast. Remain un-moveable.
Joy isn't optional. Joy is a must, and the stakes are high. A heart that won't rejoice in Christ doesn’t know him.
Baylor Family, never lose your JOY. God has YOU.
Learn More About Our Guest Writer
Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D.
Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D., is the Department Chair and professor of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media in the College of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Moody-Ramirez is a nationally known expert on mass media representations of minorities, women and other underrepresented groups.
She joined Baylor in 2001 and has maintained an active research portfolio in addition to her teaching and leadership roles. Her research emphasizes media framing of people of color, women and political candidates, the pros and cons of social media in political campaigns and she has examined how historical stereotypes are found in social media platforms.
The author or co-author of four books, Dr. Moody-Ramirez has also been widely published in a variety of academic and industry journals and. She was honored with the Outstanding Woman in Journalism award by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and received the organization’s Lionel Barrow Jr. Award for Distinguished Achievement in Diversity Research and Education. She is also a 2019 Fellow in the AEJMC Institute for Diverse Leadership.