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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!
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.
How big does the storm in your life have to get for you to take your eyes off of Christ and put them on your circumstance? Although God may not respond to your prayer the way you thought he should, that surely does not mean that he failed you. Your cries in the night for help are not going unanswered for they are always heard by a God who knows how to provide for your need. He has created a course for your life and the twists and turns you must take are not meant to hinder you but rather to get you ready for something far greater. Scripture is filled with verses where God’s strength is revealed in those who trusted him.
We read in Exodus in the Old Testament where the Israelites were led on a forty-year journey in the desert to get to the land God promised to give them. But because their hearts were hardened and unbelieving, God directed them the long way around. His plan was to give them peace from their enemies and a land that was overflowing with every good thing. However, most of them did nothing but grumble and gripe to God. Their faith was not in God but focused instead on only that which their eyes could see. They did not have faith that God could give them what he promised though every day he provided them with all that they needed. It was for that reason most of them died before they ever got to the land. They thought the giants in the land were bigger than their God! They were dead wrong. Only Joshua and Caleb had faith enough to trust God and they led their people to win over the enemy in the land given them.
In Genesis, Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers and then sold into slavery. As dark as it was in that pit, God was using this injustice against Joseph to get him ready to rule in the palace of Egypt! Joseph had to travel as a slave in chains to Egypt. He was sold to a commander there named Potiphar and forced to work in his house. Joseph then was thrown into prison after being falsely accused of a crime. Here is a man who went from the pit, to chains, to slave and then to prison. Where was his God? As painful as it was for Joseph to endure all this, God was using this trial as training. He was equipping this young man to be the top royal commander second only to Pharaoh. That was quite an elevation for just a young shepherd boy.
The truth is that God will not promote you to a higher calling without first equipping you to succeed. The pain that you are experiencing is the chisel God is using to perfect his plan for you. You are literally becoming a work of art in the kingdom of God! Your struggles never had any power to destroy you. God knows well how to cause all things to work in harmony with the purpose he has ordained for you. All of your troubles are unfolding into his perfect plan to bring you to victory. You are not going to lose this battle if you can keep your eyes on Christ and in his mighty power.
Though you can get weary as the pain of your situation overwhelms you, there is hope knowing that there is a divine purpose for your momentary problems. It should help you to know that God saw these stumbling blocks in your path before you were born. He could have led you around them but instead he has chosen to use them to make you stronger as he takes you over and above in strength and glory. His plan is to make you royalty in a kingdom that will never end. It was for this exact purpose that Christ died so that you might have an abundant life even while facing the wind and the waves of the raging sea of life.
My prayer is that you understand that all God allows in your life, he allows for a specific purpose. He will never send you alone in the battle for he is always with you. Nothing can defeat you. Your marriage problems, health issues, financial crisis or any struggle you face cannot keep his purpose for you from being fulfilled. The days remaining in this perishing world are numbered and known by God. He sees the beginning and the end and all that goes on in between. He is with you right now. You must never let the lies of the enemy make you feel defeated. If you are a child of God, that can never happen! Don’t be like the Israelites wandering in the desert who did not have faith that God could take them where he promised. God can and will do abundantly more than anything you can ask or imagine!
Cease striving, my friends, the battle is won. The enemy knows it and you need to know it too. If your trust is in Christ, he already has your situation worked out. All you have left to do is to have faith and take him at his word!
Dear Lord, I pray that those who are facing trials and pain in their lives right now may know that you are working them out for a purpose that is good. Help them to stand in faith through this storm knowing that you are with them to the end. Amen