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In a culture that wants to convince us that we always need more of something, Christmas joy comes regardless of gifts. It’s not just a notion of hope, but the reality of God’s provision. Christmas is about a little baby born in a manger, set on earth to live out a reality impossible to everyone but God. And His plan never includes forsaking His children in a time of desperation.
1. Have Faith
It’s easy to have faith sitting in a warm house with a full stomach and money in the bank. In the gospel of Luke, Jesus tells the story of a rich ruler who asked what he needs to do to attain eternal life. Jesus responded:
“Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” (Luke 18:22)
We are assured by this parable we need nothing but Christ, but it’s a hard reality to live in poverty. It’s difficult to have faith that God will provide for us out of love.
But He promises that He will.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God promises eternal life in exchange for accepting His Son as our Savior. He doesn’t promise us a life of luxury and ease. Nor does He say that life will look fair through our eyes. That’s what makes faith, faith.
2. Reach Out
Great faith asks our great God to fill our unimaginable need. I have witnessed a small town rally around a family whose house caught on fire. A church family knocked until a woman finally opened it to accept help.
“What is impossible with men is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
God places people around you for a reason. Have faith that He will provide. Do not be afraid to receive the people He may bless you though.
3. Hold onto Joy
Freezing cold, stomachs growling, and owing for bills we cannot pay; joy can be elusive in the middle of the worst of a nightmare. Yet God tells us,
“Be joyful always.” (1 Thes. 5:16)
Joy was given to all mankind by the birth of Jesus at Christmas. It isn’t the fleeting feeling of happiness, but emotion that runs through the very core of our being–assuring us that Jesus walks through it all beside us. When we receive Christ as our Savior, peace and joy enter our hearts forever.
Father, Praise you for the joy of Christmas! In the tender way you brought Your own Son into the world, a vulnerable child born in a stable, You show us that You are able to care for us in any circumstance. Jesus, the Light of the World, was born in humility. The King of Kings came to earth to be a carpenter. The Son of God felt what we feel. Nothing is beyond You to repair or provide.
Give us great faith this Christmas. Father, you tell us that it is hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God (Luke 18:23), but when we are physically poor we do not always see those truths. When we have nothing to give our children, no food to eat, nowhere warm to sleep, it’s hard to have faith. Send Your Spirit to strengthen our faith when we are overwhelmed by our physical needs. Help us to trust you to provide for us.
Father, we ask for your provision. Reveal those around us to whom we should look to for aid. We ask for food to eat, a warm place to stay, and provision for bills that we cannot pay. You are a God who is able to do more than we ask or can imagine, and we ask for your provision this Christmas. We believe you seek to find Your children in need. That You hear their cries and know their needs. You know the needs we are too scared to ask for.
You know the fear that our children will have nothing Christmas morning. And, we pray a for a God-sized miracle to bless us this Christmas.
Help us hold onto joy. Bless and heal our hearts of bitterness and jealousy. Give us the spirit of positivity that doesn’t end with laughter. Give us the joy of Jesus this Christmas.
Bless and heal our hearts of all that is holding us back from living in joy as a child of God. Soften our hearts and the hearts around us to see and celebrate the birth of Your Son this Christmas. To know, personally, how He walks with us. To feel Him guide our steps. To experience the care of a Father who seeks to bless His children. In Jesus’ name, Amen.