The Christmas season is a joyous time to gather with loved ones and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
And while Christmas is full of warm memories and celebrations – not everyone feels “merry and bright.”
So how can a Christian focus on the true meaning of Christmas, even if they are going through a difficult season?
To start, it’s important to keep an eternal perspective.
Whether you are mourning the loss of a loved one, struggling with financial difficulties, or going through extreme relational duress, sometimes the things of this world can cause us to take our eyes off eternity.
And when everyone around us is dressing up to go to Christmas parties and participating in festivities – if we’re going through a tough season, this is likely the last thing we want to do.
We can get caught up in a vicious cycle of depression and despair.
Or even fall into the trap of self-pity.
So what can we do to break free from the bondage?
Fix our eyes towards Jesus and eternity, and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
Sure, the Christmas festivities are awesome – but they should never replace remembering what Christmas is all about.
Jesus came down from heaven and humbly allowed Himself to be born in a manger – fully God, and fully man – knowing He would display His ultimate love for us by suffering on the cross so we could be reunited with God for all eternity.
This is the beauty and wonder of Christmas.
And yes, in this broken world, there is pain and suffering.
Death. Divorce. Poverty. Sickness.
But if we suffer well, these things can bring us to our knees and remind us just how much we need a loving Savior to help us make it in this fallen world.
Desiring God said it best:
“The great joy the angels announced at that first Christmas can sustain us as well. Christmas doesn’t ignore our many pains; neither does it bid us wallow in them. Christmas takes them seriously, more seriously than any secular celebration can, and reminds us that our God has seen our pain and heard our cries for help (as in Exodus 2:23–25; 3:7–9; 6:5), and he himself has come to deliver us.”
So fellow brother or sister, cry out to God in your deepest moments of despair.
Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7).
Full healing won’t come this side of heaven – but we can rest in knowing God is our ultimate healer, and one day He will wipe away every tear.
You may not feel merry and bright this Christmas season, and that’s okay.
But in your suffering, rejoice in the living promises of God, Who always finishes what He begins.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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