This is a great time of year, remember Christmas as a kid? Imagine driving around with your head glued to the car window, your breath fogging up the window as you look at all the lights dreaming about Christmas morning and what may be wrapped under the tree. The pre game excitement of Christmas was the most compelling force of life on the planet! It all was about shredding that wrapping paper and finding that new toy!

As an adult, Christmas sure can lose it’s luster. Finances don’t magically ‘get better’ around the holidays. It is a reminder of loneliness for those that are single. Health and sickness don’t go away this time of year either. For those without, in any category, it is a reminder of pain and can raise more questions than praise to Jesus.

How do we overcome this? How do we push into in the love and peace of our Father and find hope and joy in the Christmas season? Well, we must…

STOP listening to the lies of Satan. Call them out, and send them away in Jesus name.

START believing in the Truth you know. You in Christ are a child of the Living God. You are desired, treasured, and designed to not only live, but thrive. You are empowered by the Holy Spirit to conquer every evil in this world. It is only Jesus Christ inside us that can do these things… but in Him we can do all things. (Phil 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”)

Every time I have been in prayer the past couple weeks I have reminded God of the things I lack. It is sin, I admit. Almost without fail, I have asked why He has withheld certain things? And without fail… he reminds me I have more than enough.

With a strong but gentle reminder He shows me I have NOTHING to complain about. People close to me are going through tough times. Men and women facing sickness, death, pain and illness, financial hardship etc. And that is just in my backyard… that isn’t in impoverished countries.

It is like a child to get excited about the gifts, and equally childish to complain and pout when you go without. I am not minimizing our needs and our Fathers desire to fulfill them, but rather maximizing our ability to rise above our circumstances and accept the joy of Jesus Christ. The love of Jesus is more powerful than the things of this world. More powerful than the pain, the loneliness, the sickness, the poverty, and the injustice.

The most painful thing to go without is love. It is why EVERYONE in this world is broken. We ALL search for love because we search for God. God is love. But when we receive Jesus, we receive true love because we are now in relationship with the Father.

1 John 4:15-19

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.

When you give you give not just the present, you give the love behind it. That is the message of Christmas. It is love.

John 3:16

“For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

How do you chose joy in this season regardless of what is going on? By choosing Jesus. In turning to Him we enter into a relationship with God. And since He is all we are looking for, we receive all we need. He supplies it all, our physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. And as we learn from Christ’s example we learn to give as He gave. And as we give, we experience the joy for which we were created. Joy is a choice to follow Jesus and His example. And this joy despite our circumstance is the best witness to a world in need of God’s love.

We live in a world of pain, but we are to be in the world and not of it. This means we are not defined by what we do or do not do, but by the larger power we possess. We bring into the world the light and love that it so desperately needs. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. Serve at a homeless shelter this season, or seek out an opportunity to serve and help others.

We must get over ourselves and GO. Reach out. We are the children of God and carry in us the love of Christ that can change the world. When we walk in His power, we will take it back in Jesus name.

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