It’s been a tough year. The news pummels us with global tragedy—Nepal’s deadly earthquake, the refugee crisis, Paris and other mass shootings. It shows pictures of weather-related destruction, and it threatens us with impending doom unless we stop global warming.
Some folks watch these things and wring their hands in despair. Others hit the off switch and walk away unaffected because those issues seem so far away. It’s more difficult to remain unaffected, however, when tragedy strikes close to home—cancer, accidents, job loss, prodigal kids, Alzheimers, home foreclosure, miscarriage, broken family relationships, and the like.
Last night my husband and I hosted our Sunday school class Christmas party. During the gift exchange, I noticed one present wrapped in paper covered with the words Ho Ho Ho—words associated with jolly Santa Claus.
Seriously, I know so many people who feel anything but jolly right now. They’re wishing they could delete Christmas this year. They’re going through the motions by rote, but inside they’re simply trying to cope.
Perhaps you can relate. Or you know someone who can. If so, be encouraged by remembering the angel’s message to the shepherds as they watched their flocks on Bethlehem’s outskirts: “Don’t be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!”
That great news centered on the Messiah’s birth. The tiny baby, born in humble circumstances, brought hope to those who recognized Him for who He was. And He brings hope to us today when we recognize Him for who He is.
This season, let’s worship Jesus for who He is—far more than the little baby in the manger. He’s the Son of God. Crucified Savior. Risen King. Reigning Majesty. And someday He’ll return to earth, but His second coming will look much different than the first.
Angels lit up the sky to herald Christ’s arrival two thousand years ago. What might His next advent look like? Habakkuk gives us a wee peek: “His brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise. His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden.”
Folks, we HOld to HOpe in the HOlidays because Jesus—the One whose brilliant splendor fills the heavens, the One filled with awesome power—holds us. Our circumstances might look anything but jolly, but Jesus overcomes. His presence brings strength, courage, wisdom, peace, and joy. And that’s infinitely better than a hollow Ho Ho Ho anyday.
#HopeInTheHolidays #bgbg2 #ChristmasDevotions
When I read your post today
That is how I have been feeling for the month of Dec
A Friend of mind has been told she has Cancer
My Mum died almost 4 years ago
There are times when I feel totally alone true I have a brother and his Family but is not a close relationship
I know my Brother loves me in his way
His Wife is having Chemo for Cancer
The list goes on
Hi Wendy. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment, and for your transparency. I’m sorry for the tough go you’ve had (and are continuing to have). But I’m ever so grateful that God’s promises to you are true–you are not alone and He will give you strength. May He give you peace this season (and far beyond this season), too. Know you are loved, Wendy.