You’ve somehow managed to make it to December, a month that should be full of all the comfort and joy of Christmas. But this year is different… unprecedented… uncertain.
For many of you, this is a time of fear and worry. Will you be healthy, in quarantine, out of work, out of patience? Will there be enough money to pay the bills, let alone buy the presents? Many of you are facing isolation or family members who are not able to be home due to COVID. Add on the stress of shopping, wrapping, baking, and decorating in the middle of a pandemic and it’s all too overwhelming to leave time for enjoyment. Not to mention those who are suffering from pain or illness that has put a halt to the comfort and joy of Christmas.
Yet, Christmas should be a season of great joy, a season of healing and renewed strength. For no matter what your circumstances are, Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. God showed His great love for you by sending His Son into the world. John 3:16-17 says:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Why should this event that happened so many years ago bring you comfort and joy this pandemic-focused Christmas? Hundreds of years before Jesus was born the prophet Isaiah wrote (Isaiah 53:4-5):
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Jesus was born to pay the price for the things you have done wrong. The Bible says that all have sinned. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, you have inherited a sin nature. But Jesus came so that you could be forgiven. No matter what may be happening, you can experience the comfort and joy that Jesus came to give. Here’s how:
Focus on God’s great presence.
Christmas is the celebration of God’s incarnation. Matthew 1:23 reads, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” It should cheer your heart that God is with you. You are never alone. You should never feel abandoned. Whatever you are facing, God is there with you in the midst of it. Like Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds, you must let your eyes rest upon Jesus and realize that God is with you and for you.
Focus on God’s great power.
God is mighty and powerful. Christmas involves a great demonstration of God’s power. God sent his Son Jesus to accomplish something that is humanly impossible. Jesus is the warrior who triumphs over Satan and sin. Be encouraged this Christmas! With Jesus, you have a mighty conqueror in your life!
Focus on God’s great love.
God takes delight and rejoices over you with joy and gladness. As God looks at you, His heart is not made sad, but glad. Never once does God regret the price He paid to redeem you. Can you imagine God taking joy in you? Can you imagine God being proud of you? Can you see God loving you, no matter what? The love that God has for you is love that never fails!
Focus on God’s great peace.
Luke 2:7a says, “And she (Mary) brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger.” There is tenderness in that scene. This Christmas, bring your cares and heavy heart to Him. You can cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you. If this Christmas finds your heart heavy and troubled, hear your Heavenly Father’s voice, singing over you. Let Him speak peace to your soul.
This Christmas, be challenged to respond to God’s great love in three ways. First, live confidently. Start each day knowing that nothing you can do will make God love you more, and nothing you can do will make God love you less. Then, assured of God’s love, go into the world seeking to live the best life for God’s glory! Second, live obediently. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” The best response to God’s great love for us, is to obey His Word and will for your life! And third, live enthusiastically. The shepherds on the hills of Bethlehem were overjoyed to share the good news of the newborn King. Knowing the love God has for you, fresh joy, hope, and enthusiasm should spill out of your life.
I pray that the Lord will bring you comfort and joy as you celebrate this Christmas season. If you have questions or would like to discuss this article, please call us at (717) 217-6790.
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