Hymn Challenge #22: Joy to the World
Words by: Isaac Watts
b. July 17, 1674; d. November 25, 1748
We studied Isaac Watts back in Hymn #13, O God, Our Help in Ages Past. You can click here to see information about Isaac Watts there. So now, let's begin our study.
Today was our special day. We were going to find out the sex of our first baby. The tech began the ultrasound, and I thought to myself—“This ultrasound sure is taking a long time. I pray the baby is okay.” Just as I was thinking that, the tech says “Were you on fertility?” I responded with, “No, why? Is it twins?” We have many twins in my family, and when we finally decided to try to get pregnant, my sweet husband said “We are having one baby. We are not having twins.” Well, the tech responded with “No, it’s triplets.” I began crying uncontrollably, my husband began pacing the room, and our lives were forever changed.
As we approach the birth of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, think of Mary. As we see in Matthew 1:18 “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.” What do you think her day was like? She was pledged to be married. What would the town’s people think? And what would Joseph think? To say our day was turned upside down is nothing compared to Mary’s day! Mary’s plans were not her own yet in Luke 1:38 we see “'I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May Your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.’” Mary’s response was incredible. She knew she would experience shame but she had great faith and completely trusted the Lord.
Dr. Henrietta Mears said “Faith may see God but obedience must serve Him.” Mary was willing and called herself the Lord’s servant. I can’t say we were willing like Mary was but we can’t begin to imagine our lives without our three precious girls. We have come to know Christ, He has walked with us through many trials during the last 19 years but we have also experienced a joy that only comes from Him. Jesus is the source of our joy. Dr. Mears continues with “Know this! Christ never takes our joy away. He gives joy! He says that He came not only to give us life, but give it to us more abundantly! God tells us that the way of the transgressor is hard, but His ways are ways of pleasantness, and all His paths are peace.” How do you react when things don’t go your way? Are you willing to follow God’s way and experience His incredible joy that can never be taken away?
God is Sovereign. His plans and ways are perfect, and no purpose of His can be thwarted. He alone is the source of our joy. I am thankful for Mary’s example of great faith and her heart of obedience. Will you trust Him in your circumstances knowing that His purpose will be fulfilled? Will you glorify Him through it and experience the incredible joy that only He can give?
Below you will see the sheet music for today's hymn. And click here to listen to David Archuleta sing this hymn with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Turn it up and enjoy!
The scripture I chose was Luke 1:38 from above. It a great reminder to me that when I gladly follow and serve Him, I am filled with joy! And yes, there is a typo on my typed scripture. I didn't notice it until after my page was done. I actually typed that scripture three times when I was making this page. Wow, I guess I was just meant to have an error today. Oh well! I guess it's just another reminder to me that Jesus is the only one to live fully human and live perfectly. I certainly never will be able to!
Papers: Pink Paislee Snow Village
Blue Fern Studios chipboard: Graduated Circles (painted with Shimmerz Texturez patina)
Stamp Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink frayed burlap
Embellishments: wood veneer from Diana McRae, Jenni Bowlin watch face, misc. baker's twine, misc. flowers, Wild Orchid Crafts leaves, thread, machine sewing
Remember to use Keyword HSCRC13 when posting your creations in any online galleries. Also, please leave a link to your creation here using Inlinkz! To see all of the information regarding this challenge and the previous studies, please see this post here.
Today will be our last Hymn Challenge for 2013. God has shown me some plans for 2014 so be watching for that announcement over the next couple of weeks. For now, thank you ALL for joining in. I pray that God has blessed you beyond measure for your study, that you have grown in your walk with Him, and that you are excited to join in next year's study. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas everyone!