Chronically-ill during the Christmas season. A death of a parent on Christmas Eve. A parent walking out of my life on Christmas. No money to buy our kids presents. The reality of not having a home to live in.
I’ve experienced all of these things during this glorious season and it felt anything but glorious! I guess you can say that my Christmas seasons have been filled with heartache, uncertainly, fear, and anguish. But I don’t believe I’m alone in this.
The holidays can produce a great amount of pain in a person’s life. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, financial hardships, being at odds with a family member, or just the reality that you or a loved one can barely make it out of bed to join in the festivities.
Christmas comes around every year, therefore, it’s so easy to unpack the memories of our pain and suffering just like we unpack the Christmas decorations.
He came for you and I. To give us life. To fill us with the hope of His glory.
Maybe you’re dealing with…
A wayward child.
I encourage you to choose hope instead of pain.
Hope comes from our Savior. Pain comes from our emotions.
Hope is founded on the Word of God. Pain is from our wounds and fears.
Hope leads to life. Pain leads to death.
No matter your circumstances, choose to have a Hope-filled Christmas because your Savior has come. Choose to focus on Christ, the reason for the season.
4 Tips for a Hope-Filled Christmas
1. Dwell on the true meaning of Christmas. Try not to get caught up in what everybody else is doing or how they’re celebrating Christmas. Comparing our lives to others will never bring us joy.
2. Serve those that are in need. Perhaps you have the finances to bless a family that’s struggling? If you do, then go out of your way to minister to them. If you don’t, you can give of your time. I know for me, when I take the focus off of myself and I choose to serve the Lord with either my talents, skills, gifts, or resources, I find that I don’t dwell on my pain nearly as much. Making our lives about building God’s kingdom rather than our own always brings about a heart change.
3. Simplify. Slow down. Sit at Jesus’ feet like Mary, rather than being busy like Martha.
4. Change your perspective. It’s easy to have the pity parties when life is not going according to our plans. I know this truth all too well! What’s helped me is when I consider someone else’s trial which is much more difficult than my own. I know parents who had a child die at a young age as they battled cancer, a teenager who was killed in a car accident, and a son who took his own life. When I think about living through trials like these, I soon realize my trials aren’t anything to balk at.
I’ll leave you with this hope-inspired passage…
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You. Psalm 33:18-22
May you be filled with Hope during this miraculous season!
Live a poured out life for Christ,