Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Joy to the World. ‘Tis the season…to be full of cheer. You see it everywhere from Facebook posts to the abundant Christmas letters you receive. However, this time of the year can also be a difficult time for many. As others are celebrating it can actually intensify the loss or depression or at best leave you with mixed emotions. What we must remind ourselves as we go through a challenging season is that there is a promise of better things to come. This is the good news of Christmas.
The better days are ours for the taking and they start with Jesus. God came down in human form to make Himself known to us. Out of His love, He came to be near us through the birth of baby Jesus. As He grew, Jesus experienced the full range of human emotions and experiences like we do, including suffering. He knows how we feel and can relate, and as a result we are never alone in our difficulties. As God, He has the ability to minister to our hearts and minds in the hardships. This means there is always a way out of our hopelessness because God is at work on our behalf!
“For this reason, Jesus had to be made like us, his brothers and sisters, in every way. He became like people so that he could be their merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. Then he could bring forgiveness for the people’s sins. And now he can help those who are tempted. He is able to help because he himself suffered and was tempted”. Hebrews 2:17-18
This means there is nothing that Jesus can’t relate to. Our suffering is His suffering. He is part of every experience we have, good or bad. Through His birth and resurrection, and our belief in Him, we will never be separated from God. That alone is a miracle and remembering this can give us the strength, courage, and hope we need to get through our darkest days. He is there with us and will handle our trials. His presence makes the difference. HE is our joy.
“We want to tell you about the Word that gives life—the one who existed before the world began. This is the one we have heard and have seen with our own eyes. We saw what he did, and our hands touched him. Yes, the one who is life was shown to us. We saw him, and so we can tell others about him. We now tell you about him. He is the eternal life that was with God the Father and was shown to us. We are telling you about what we have seen and heard because we want you to have fellowship with us. The fellowship we share together is with God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. We write these things to you so that you can be full of joy with us.” 1 John 1:1-4
So in this Christmas season, I pray that your heart is lightened by the gift of Jesus, Emmanuel; God with us. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring peace, hope and joy into your heart, and let the ‘word of life’ enter into your barren and dark places so your joy can be made complete by receiving all He is and all He has done for you!
May the ‘merry’ in your life come from His good news for you today!