The Gift Of Joy by Larry Wynn

THE GIFT OF JOY
LUKE 1:39-55
READ VS. 39-45
DECEMBER 10, 1995

INTRODUCTION

A. "HAPPY HOLIDAYS." "WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORDS, DO YOU REACT WITH
DREAD AND SADNESS OR JOY?"
DURING THE SEASON THAT IS SUPPOSEDLY THE SEASON OF JOY MANY ARE
WEIGHED DOWN BY THE STRESS OF FAMILY GATHERINGS, EXTRA
SHOPPING, MAINTAINING TRADITIONS, AND JUGGLING FINANCES. "HOW
ON EARTH CAN WE ADD ALL THE EXTRA HOLIDAY DEMANDS TO OUR
SCHEDULE AND KEEP UP WITH EVERYTHING ELSE? IT'S NO WONDER
PEACE ON EARTH ALLUDES US."
"AS THE ACTIVITIES AND TENSION MOUNT, SO DOES OUR ANXIETY AND
IRRITABILITY. PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION START SHOWING UP.
THERE MAY BE HEADACHES, SADNESS, FATIGUE, AND EVEN A RAPID
HEARTBEAT." ADAPTED FROM "HOLIDAYS", "TODAY'S BETTER LIFE
MAGAZINE".

B. WHY DO PEOPLE GET DEPRESSED AROUND CHRISTMAS?

1. IDEALIZED PAST MEMORIES. MANY MEMORIES INCLUDE ONLY THE
GOOD PARTS OF THE PAST. OUR MINDS TEND TO FILTER OUT THE
BAD. THE PRESENT SEASON CAN SEEM DISAPPOINTING AND DRAB
COMPARED TO THE MEMORY OF BETTER TIMES.

2. UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. "TRY NOT TO EXPECT YOURSELF AND
OTHERS TO PERFORM PERFECTLY OR RESPOND FLAWLESSLY, JUST
BECAUSE IT'S THE HOLIDAY. IF GRANDPA AND DAD USUALLY
ARGUE ABOUT POLITICS, THEY STILL WILL. IF THE KIDS ARE HARD
TO PLEASE, THEY'RE LIKELY TO BE DISAPPOINTED WITH SOME OF
THE GIFTS THEIR RECEIVE.

3. FEELINGS OF LONELINESS. LONELINESS IS INTENSIFIED DURING
HOLIDAYS AS ARE CRISIS.

4. MEDICAL CAUSES OF DEPRESSION. WILL BE AMPLIFIED DURING THE
HOLIDAY SEASON.

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