I wasn’t planning on blogging today. I actually haven’t written a devotional blog in quite some time. But I know that I’m supposed to relay some of the things the Lord has put on my heart just this morning. It’s only three hours since I woke up, but for whatever reason there is much to spill onto this screen.
This morning I heard a short radio segment about the many people who find the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” anything but. The fact is that many people are walking through grief, loss and heartache right now … many of them are Christ followers, and despite the hustle and bustle and merriment, there is a dangerous slope that many of us have slipped down. I loved the helpful advice from one radio host who spoke to her personal struggle during Christmas time over the past 4 years as her husband has lived much of his life in a hospital bed — the answer she gave was just one word, EMMANUEL.
Emmanuel, the word that means “God is with us” is the whole reason we celebrate Christmas. It is what “the most wonderful time of the year” means in a nutshell – and the best part? This word doesn’t go out of style, expire or get stored in a Christmas box in the attic for 11 months. This word won’t ever go away – He doesn’t ever go away. He has never, nor will ever leave us or forsake us.
He is so amazingly constant that despite our circumstances we are forever tethered to a joy like no other!
When we feel so utterly alone, when we start thinking negatively, or feeling guilty for our lack of enthusiasm during this season, let’s try to say this word to ourselves over and over and watch our posture and outlook change. EMMANUEL. The truth found in this word is a constant reason to be at peace no matter what messy things we trudge through, even during Christmas time.
Psalm 4:8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:7 You have put more joy in my heart, than they have when their grain and wine abound.
Note the world “alone” in the first verse above – our one true source of peace doesn’t come from listening to Silent Night over and over, or gazing at a finely lit Christmas tree in the quiet – sure those things are blessings, and for many they can provide a wonderful moment of relaxation, but we cannot let the culture of the Christmas season overshadow the truth of the Christmas season – that is when our expectations for feeling a certain way can get confusing. God alone is our safeguard, the source of our peace and joy.
Spurgeon says it this way, “though alone, without man’s help, [we are] even then in good keeping, for [we are] ‘alone with God.'”
And he also says, “I am yet full of blessings if Jesus Christ smiles upon me; but if I have all the world, I am poor without Him.”
When did the meaning of Christmas get so muddied? Instead of focusing on the the simplicity found in the gift of Emmanuel and Contentment, we have exchanged these gifts for Confusion and Disappointment.
“The true believer is a man of a very different mould. His face is not downward like the beasts, but upward like the angels’ … The light of God’s countenance is enough for him. This is his riches, his honour, his health, his ambition, his ease. Give him this and he will ask no more. This is joy unspeakable, and full of glory. Oh, for more of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that our fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ may be constant and abiding!” – C.H. Spurgeon
If you are reading this and you have never excepted God’s greatest gift, Emmanuel – Jesus, God’s only Son sent sent to save the sins of the world, please go to Him in prayer now and ask that He would become the Lord of your life. Thank Him for forgiving you of your sins and tell Him you want to live the rest of your days in His glorious light, and that that is more than enough for you.
If you are a Christian reading this and you find yourself in a dark season of life, remember the word Emmanuel. God is with YOU! Right now, tomorrow and the next day. Wherever you’re going to go – He’s already there. That is a reason to smile and that is what makes the worst time of the year …. the very BEST!
Dec 3, 2019
Dec 3, 2019
SERVING THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IN THE UNITED STATES AND WORLDWIDE