This time of year can bring a lot of joy. Kids are excited about their presents, we as adults get vacation days, students get their winter break, stores are bustling with shopping and family and friends get to hang out at gatherings. Yes, Christmas is a great time of the year and many of our American traditions help us to celebrate and enjoy the holiday.
However, Christmas can also be a dreaded time of the year.
For some Christmas can be lonely, overwhelming and empty. Stats show us that bouts of depression, anxiety and more rise to higher levels during this season, even to the point for some to take their life. It’s important to remember that while there is much celebration, there can also be much pain at the same time. Maybe in the same room. No matter where we find ourselves this season, we can all use some Christmas Joy!
How are you doing?
No matter your answer, our basic need is the same. We need Jesus! He can be our Christmas Joy. From Him flows all that we need. His touch is healing. His arms are reaching. His voice is speaking. His heart is beating for people.
When He was born, everything changed. His very presence signaled a new beginning and the ability to receive joy. This is huge because joy is an internal reality. It’s not based on external circumstance but rather it’s based on who He is in our lives. This is huge because no matter what we’re facing, we can have joy! We can be lifted through struggle into a place of peace and comfort as Jesus is our Christmas Joy. When we know that and live it out, we can rise above anything.
I like what Matthew 4:16 says –
“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.”Matthew 4:16
Notice that He lifts us when we see His light and death is pushed back. We know this because where light shines, darkness must bow. Jesus has come for you and me. He didn’t come on an ego trip and He has no need for our flattery. He is the King and in Him is our Christmas Joy.
Is darkness trying to torment you?
This could be fear, shame, anger, depression, anxiety, guilt, lust and greed. Yet, no matter what it is, when Jesus shines His light these things must bow to His authority.
His Christmas Joy is for you! He is here to heal you and to lift you up. I encourage you to deliberately choose His joy by doing a couple of things.
First, write down what you’re thankful for and what He has done for you. Remind yourself of His faithfulness. Remind yourself of His power. This shifts our perspective and causes us to have joy. This is simple yet profound when we take time and remember.
Second, worship Him. This Christmas take time out of the hustle and bustle and worship Him. This can be anywhere you want it to be but when you do, things will change. Our problems become small and God becomes big when we worship Him and this causes us to have joy.
I pray His joy would flood your soul. I pray His healing over you and your family. I pray His light would shine causing darkness to bow all around you.
I believe this for you and I believe the best is yet to come!