Christian Living · encouragement · Study

Scripture Writing Plan for December: A Joyful Heart

December seems to creep in slowly this year. The oak tree in my front yard is stubbornly clinging to its stunningly red leaves. The grass is littered with hundreds of acorns and I am still hesitant to let go of the warm fall colors.

In spite of my reluctance to relinquish all things autumn, decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving is a tradition at our house. I enjoyed watching as my children eagerly unpacked their ornament boxes and chattered excitedly about the memories attached to each ornament. Glittering bulbs and treasured memories now adorn the branches of the potted tree we heaved into our living room.

My seven year-old son has eagerly purchased gifts for his sisters and me, and they are already wrapped and resting beneath the softly scented pine boughs. His eyes twinkle each time he talks to me about the gift he is saving to buy his father. His enthusiasm for all things Christmas is contagious.

This is the season of joy.

At least, it’s supposed to be a season of joy.

Unfortunately, the often forced nature of that joy can exacerbate problems like grief, loss, or depression. Memories of Christmases past overwhelm those dealing with loss, particularly if the loss is recent.

As with gratitude, a Christian’s joy should not be seasonal. Joy is not mere happiness, for happiness is circumstantial and momentary. Joy is a constant light within our hearts given to us by Christ. It is the light that comes from knowing this world is not our home. It is the light of love from our Father that we pass on to those around us. It is a light that the world and its crushing circumstance should be unable to extinguish.

Joy is so much more than mere feeling.

Whether you are reveling in the joys of this season, or (like me) struggle with the limited sunlight and pressures accompanying Christmas, it is my sincere hope that this focus on a joyful heart will uplift you this month. We have the hope of eternal life through Christ Jesus, and that knowledge should sustain us through whatever griefs or delights we endure in this life.

Here is the list of passages, focusing on expressing joy as well as things we ought to be joyful about:

  1. Philippians 4.4-7
  2. Habakkuk 3.17-19 
  3. Hebrews 12.1-3
  4. James 1.2-4
  5. Nehemiah 8.9-10
  6. John 16.20-22
  7. Psalm 33.20-22
  8. Psalm 103.1-5
  9. Psalm 103.8-12
  10. 1 Peter 1.3-5
  11. 1 Peter 1.6-7
  12. 1 Peter 1.8-9
  13. Psalm 30.4-5
  14. Psalm 84.1-4
  15. Psalm 84.10-12
  16. Psalm 5.11-12
  17. Psalm 63.3-5
  18. Psalm 64.6-8
  19. Romans 15.12-13
  20. Proverbs 10.28-29
  21. 1 John 1.1-4
  22. Luke 15.4-7
  23. Luke 15.8-10
  24. Philippians 1.3-6
  25. Psalm 51.10-12
  26. Psalm 66.1-4
  27. Psalm 66.5-7
  28. Psalm 4.6-8
  29. Psalm 32.1-2
  30. Psalm 32.10-11
  31. Psalm 16.11

If you would like a black and white PDF, you can download it here: Scripture Writing Dec 2018

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for how I can improve this for your studies.

May you be filled with the joy of the Lord in all circumstances so that others may come to know His love.

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