This article is going to be different than what I usually post, but I hope it will be a blessing to people. I know many people like myself really struggle around the holidays, Christmas in particular, with loneliness, depression and perhaps even suicidal thoughts (I don’t on the last one, before anyone panics). So I’m writing to hopefully give some of you hope. Hope is desperately needed, especially after 2020 where it seems like just one bad thing happened after another.
While Christmas is a wonderful, beautiful time of the year, it has a dark side in some people’s minds. Maybe a bad memory is associated with the Christmas season, or a loved one won’t be at the Christmas table this year. I can relate to both of those. Maybe its something else. Only the Lord knows. Regardless, it can be very hard to watch other people celebrate and enjoy themselves when you are miserable. Other people don’t always make it easy either, questioning why you aren’t enjoying yourself or pushing you to get involved in the fun, whether you feel up to it or not. What do you do to give yourself hope during a time of year that can be very difficult?
If you’re a Christian, I want you to realize that, as hard as it is sometimes to focus on, you have hope! In a real sense, Christmas is about hope! Think about it. Why did God send His Son to earth to be born of a virgin? What was Mary told? Jesus would save His people from their sins. While the Jews knew the Messiah was coming, they did not understand the concept of a suffering Messiah. The idea of Jesus saving His people was not new. The Jews knew Messiah would come to save them. What was new, was that He would save them from their sins (though really, the Jews should have seen it, given how explicit, particularly Isaiah is.).
What is this offer of salvation to the unsaved, and the salvation itself to the saved but hope? Before Christ came, all men had was the law. Yes you could still believe God and have it counted for righteousness but the law itself offered little in the way of hope. It was an unkeepable list of rules and every time you broke a rule, you had to offer sacrifice to atone for the rule being broken. The law could not be kept. The Jews undoubtedly looked at the law and felt so inferior. In a sense that was the point: to show the Jews they could not meet God’s standard on their own. However, with the impossible comes a lack of hope. The hope of all the earth….is Christ.
Christ came to offer us salvation. To those that are saved, salvation gives us the hope of eternal life, where we will live forever with Christ in heaven. It gives us the ultimate purpose of life, to live for and serve Him. And it gives us the hope that, one day, the miseries of this sin-cursed world will be forever banished and we will live forever with Him in Heaven.
While some hurts never go away completely, having hope in Christ gives us a reason to go on. It gives me a reason to celebrate and enjoy Christmas, even when I feel like finding a place to hide from the festivities. Christ, the Creator of the universe, came down to earth to die for wretched sinners like me. To my mind, that’s something to celebrate. Christ offers hope to whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord. This Christmas, while it may be difficult at times, take heart in the hope Christ gives.
Do you know what’s going to happen when you die? Are you completely sure? If you aren’t, please read this or listen to this. You can know where you will spend eternity. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us, we’d love to talk to you.