Christmas time brings about feelings of peace, hope and joy. The lights, the music, and the gathering together with loved ones lifts our spirits. In these last two years, Christmas has not necessarily been full of peace, hope and joy. Families stopped gathering out of fear, so they have little peace. Hope is gone for many who have lost jobs and businesses. Joy is difficult to feel because we see our nation and the world falling apart.
The night Jesus was born was likely not peaceful. His parents had just arrived from a long trip, by donkey for Mary, and they were probably exhausted. Mary gave birth to Jesus in a stable surrounded by animals. The night itself might have been quiet, but being born in a stable is anything but peaceful. God chose to have His Son born in an unlikely, lowly, and in today’s standards, dirty place. Yet, out of that stable came the most precious gift ever. Jesus.
Today people are afraid to be outside because of the possibility of getting sick. We live in a world where many have access to medications and a clean environment. Yet, people are walking around, or hiding out in their homes, living in fear. The world, and our nation, have left God behind, so they do not have His peace that surpasses all understanding. [Philippians 4:7 NKJV] They don’t have peace that, whether we live or die, we are eternally His. In fact, to pass away means we are forever with Christ. [2 Corinthians 5:8 NKJV]
Peace comes from putting our focus and faith in Jesus. Christmas isn’t about peace. Christ didn’t come to bring peace. [Luke 12:51 NKJV] However, those who follow Him can have peace. In fact, only with Jesus can we have peace. We can know that He is with us always. We are to live our lives trusting in Him and not fearing.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. [1 John 4:18 NKJV]
God sent Jesus to give hope of an eternal life with Him. When Eve and Adam chose to sin in the garden, hope of a life eternal with God was shattered. The only way to repair the broken relationship was for an innocent, perfect sacrifice to occur. That sacrifice was Jesus. He became our hope. God sent His only Son to be our hope. [John 3:16 NKJV]
Many have forgotten that our hope is not in man or government. Neither can save us. This earthly home is ruled by a destroyer. The destroyer uses man to accomplish his evil desires, which is to destroy mankind. Only God can help us through this spiritual war. [John 10:10 NLT]
Christmas is a time to remember that our hope lies in Jesus Christ, and Him alone. Hope that God will protect us and He will provide our every need.
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for [it] with perseverance. [Romans 8:25 NKJV]
Christmas is normally a time of delight for many. It is a season that raises up a myriad of emotions. Joy is one of those emotions. With lights twinkling, Christmas trees displayed, and festive music playing, spirits can be lifted. These annual enjoyments have been overshadowed by all that is happening around the world and in our nation. It seems like there isn’t much reason for joy. However, as believers in Christ we know that isn’t the case.
Joy. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation: [Dictionary.com/joy]
It is easy to forget, in times like this, that our joy does not come from the world. Our joy comes from the Lord. Christmas is about God fulfilling His promise to send a sacrifice to redeem us. [Luke 2:10 NKJV]
The secular world has made Christmas about Santa Claus, presents, lights, food, and entertainment. Christmas is not about things made by this world, though. It is about Christ. Christ the baby was the greatest gift ever given to us. He came in a dark stable. There was no fan fare such as special foods and decorations. It was all about Him. The joy that night was in Jesus, His arrival and His purpose.
Peace, hope, and joy can still be found even in these crazy times. The reason we can still find them is because they are all found through Jesus. We focus on the light of the world rather than the world. We celebrate the Christ child who came, who died, and who redeemed us – all we must do is admit we are sinners, believe Jesus is the Son of God, and commit our life to Him. [ABCs of Salvation]
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” [John 8:12 NLT]