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“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10)

Christmas is the season of joy and peace yet sadly there are many people who are feeling hopeless, weary and alone.  During a time when hearts should overflow with love and giving, for some it is just a greater time of pain and sadness.  The troubles of this dark and perishing world can overwhelm even the strongest believer.   

The joy that the birth of Christ brings can get lost among the commercial aspects of the season.  That is truly sad for when God sent his one and only Son to this earth, he did it to bring light and salvation to a lost and dying world.  He sent Jesus to walk this earth with us to give us his strength to overcome our problems.  Jesus came to give us an abundant life that lacks no good thing.  His birth brought us a promise that can never be taken away.  It is a promise that those who believe in him would have a life with a purpose and a reward that will never end.  Pain and struggles can never destroy those who have been set free through Christ.  He alone can open doors to your impossible situations and cause all things to be used for your good.   

Believers now have authority in Christ over all obstacles from the enemy.  Through Jesus you are now more than a conqueror because he has overcome the world.  You only need to trust that he can and will be with you in all of your problems.  Your failures do not stop his love and your troubles can never hinder his perfect plan for your life.  His birth signified a pledge to bring you peace no matter what you may be going through.  Jesus is the Word of God and the light of this world who will never fail you.  He willingly left the splendor of heaven to come to this earth knowing that we would reject him.  Yet his love was so great that he chose to walk with us and be crucified to bring us peace with God and eternity with him forever.  

If the joy of this season is overcome by a heartache or struggle in your life which is causing you pain and sadness, please remember that the hope that Jesus brings is not just for some situations.  The peace he promised to leave us is sufficient to meet any need and to take you through any storm in your life.  His power is strong enough to safely take you through all circumstances and to give you joy in the midst of your struggle.  He knew your name and loved you long before you were born.  He has plans to prosper you and give you a future despite your weaknesses.  He is faithful to make a way for you even when the road is closed.  Most importantly, he will never leave you to carry your burden alone.  In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says, “And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age”.   

Your situation is never hopeless when you have Christ in your heart.   He is able to heal any sorrow your have and give you the assurance that his love will comfort you in your pain.  This season, keep in your heart the truth that Jesus is the only gift that you need. He is the source of your strength and the power to restore you in all ways.  His gift of life is free for the asking.  His love will never fail you and his peace will keep you as you begin a new year.   Take heart, dear friends, for the Savior of this world is born!

Dear Jesus,

I am lifting up to you those who are suffering the pain of trials of every kind and who are feeling weary and troubled.  I know that this time of year is supposed to be one of family and joyful celebrating but there are some who are experiencing heartaches from a broken home, overwhelming financial troubles,  or serious health issues.  There are those who are dealing with addictions, depression and loneliness.  For these and all the troubles that your people are facing, I pray for you to give them peace.  Let them know they have hope despite their pain.  Lift them up and meet them where they are.  Show them your mercy as you give them the strength that they need to stand in faith.

Father, we are living in a time when truth has been exchanged for a lie. There is darkness everywhere and persecution of Christians is increasing.  War is imminent as the middle east heats up to a point of no return.  Famines, earthquakes and extreme weather is signaling your return.  We have a reason to hope.  You, dear Jesus, are coming back to make all things new.  You have not forgotten us.  Our pain and brokenness is preparing us for a kingdom that will never end.  Your eyes are always on us.  We are never alone and never without your protection.  I pray that you will show those who are hurting that you are with them to the end.  I pray that they will know that they have a future no matter how bad it may look now.  May you have mercy on this country and open the eyes of our leaders to turn back to the God who blessed us and made us a great nation.  May you bless and protect Israel and give wisdom to her leaders.  I pray for you to comfort and help those who are going through persecution of every kind for their faith.  Be with them, Lord Jesus.  Protect them and bring them joy that surpasses understanding in the midst of their suffering.  I also pray for Pastor Saeed who is imprisoned in Iran.  Keep him safe, dear Lord, and please bring him back here to his family.

Keep our eyes on you, dear Jesus.  Help us to know that no matter what battle rages in our lives, you are always in complete authority over it all .  You alone have suffered the price for our victory.  We humbly bow before you  in praise and honor for there is no way to repay you for all you have given to us.  Amen

Merry Christmas to all of my friends here on this site.  I pray for you all  and remember that you can email me if you need to talk.

Marianne Bernard

Marianne Bernard

I seek first the kingdom of Christ because everything else in this world is perishing. All that I have is from God who is always faithful. I have worked hard all my life and will continue as long as God lends me breath. The mistakes and bad judgments I made in my life all stemmed from me trying to work things out by myself. I have learned the hard way that the victory over all of my problems and the answers to all of my desires lie solely in my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is now my desire to share the words that God gives me to encourage and give hope to others who need the strength that only faith in Christ can give.

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Praise be to God for allowing Pastor Saeed to be released from the Iranian prison he was in for years! May he bless him and protect him and his family.

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