Holiday Survival Guide
Who isn’t overloaded with seasonal stress? With too many tasks on your to-do lists, clamoring crowds everywhere you go, the pressure of doing everything perfectly, the frequent friction found in family visits (try saying that 10 times fast), who isn’t on the edge of turning into a Grinch! In your very real lives today, do you find your Christmas being stolen away by the stress of the season? Instead of this time of the year becoming an entry point for peace for your life, a time of refreshment and renewal, is it another thing draining you of real joy and peace? This time of year is supposed to be a time of peaceful and joyful celebration. It’s not supposed to be a complicated mess. It doesn’t have to be this way. The reason for the season is simple: God came to help us. He came to save us from this crazy, broken world and to rescue us from a life hurling toward decay and death.
There is help from God when the holidays seem to be stealing away our joy. How? Like a refiner of silver, He burns away false ideas, deceptive promises, and destructive actions, and places you on the life-giving ground of truth. Like laundry soap, He washes away the junk in your life, the sin and the corruption, and makes you clean again. In fact, the word for refine can mean filter. Jesus is not the only Refuge you can call on when you’re weary; He is not the only stronghold of truth who gives you clarity; but His presence in your life filters out everything that would take life out of you.
Nothing will separate you from God’s love! Nothing can steal away the life He gives! He loves us, He loves us with a love greater than we can understand. With that love, He sent Jesus, His Son, to do the job. The message of Christmas is that God has a gracious heart transplant for you and me. He has a gracious gift of righteousness, forgiveness, joy, and peace for us. It’s His gifts that change our lives. It’s His gifts that root our service, our worship, and our song. It’s the Babe in the manger, and the Lord’s coming again to judge the living and the dead who brings life to us that will never end. In Jesus, God showed us the depth of His heart, the joy of knowing that He really cares for us. As the Christmas carol declares, “Joy to the world; the Lord has come!” Jesus our Savior was born in Bethlehem. Oh, what a message! Oh, what a blessing!
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