“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.”  Psalms 89:15

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Ephesians 5:20

The Christmas season this year will live in our memories for years to come.  I am sure that it was different than any other year.  Some of us had to spend the time alone, rather than joining with our families for a time of feasting and fellowship.  We were not able to enjoy the Christmas programs and special services in our churches but viewed them on the screens in our homes.

One tradition that most of us enjoy at Christmas is the exchanging of gifts.  In a normal year, it is great to visit the stores and malls and search for that perfect gift for a family member or a special friend.  This year, I am sure, most of us did our shopping online or didn’t do any at all.  Perhaps we sent an electronic gift card or donated to a charity in someone’s name. I hope that we all found some way to give to a needy cause. Or perhaps you were the recipient of someone’s generosity, and you are thankful that God met your need.

But I would like to write about the greatest gift exchange of all.  It is one that won’t cost us anything but will be well received by the one we give it too, and we will be happy with what we receive back. You are probably wondering what that could possibly be.

OUR GIFT:   Give God thanks regardless of our feelings.  The verse in Ephesians tells us to give thanks always for all things.  Whether we had a joyous Christmas or not, whether we saw our family or not, whether we received material gifts or not, still we have so many things to be thankful for.

GIFT WE RECEIVE IN EXCHANGE:  The Lord gives us joy regardless of our circumstances.  Psalm 89:15 tells us that we are blessed people who have heard the joyful sound.  We can rest assured that no matter what we are experiencing, that God is in complete control, and for that we can rejoice.

Now that is the best exchange I can think of, just thanking God no matter what we are facing, and receiving joy regardless of our circumstances.  Why not try making that exchange today and enjoy the joy that you will receive in return.

Thank you, Lord, that you paid the supreme sacrifice for our sins, that your plan is for us to have joy no matter what we go through, and all we must do is accept you and give you thanks in everything.

Devotion by Anne Johnston



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