Psalm 37:3-6, Joel 2:12-13, Isaiah 12:2-6, James 1:2-4 Integrity, so it is said, is doing the right thing when nobody is watching. It can be tempting to do the wrong thing when no one is watching. It is often easy to do the right thing when everyone is cheering. It’s when no one is cheering, or people are even grumbling or threatening those who do right, that we come to the hard part of living out our faith. “Trust in the LORD, and do what is good…” Psalm 37:3 “…I will trust [the LORD] and not be afraid…” Isaiah 12:2 When it gets tough to do right, all we can do is trust God. Sounds easy, but how often do we fail to trust God, and instead trust ourselves, others, or things? James calls on us to be filled with joy in these situations. Joy? Yes, even in these situations. Perhaps, joy is most critical in these situations. The freedom to feel joy is fully reliant on trusting God. Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, we know with our heads that we need to trust you. As we are frail human beings, help our hearts to trust you further than yesterday, and even more so tomorrow. Grant us the peaceful assurance of your grace, compassion, patience and love. Help us to continue to seek the coming Messiah, and to be filled with joy of knowing you. Holy Spirit, be with us through the remainder of the Advent season, stirring our hearts to not take Christmas for granted, but to be stirred into action of joy-filled praise of the Father, Son, and You. Continue to quicken our hearts and aid us in our journey of faith. Jesus, Son of God, thank you for becoming like us. Thank you for experiencing a life like ours. We are thankful that you know temptation, yet did not sin, giving us strength to choose the God-lit path of faith that goes through the darkness. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we lift you up on our praise. Help us to joyfully sing your praise, for your glory. Amen.