Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Grinch That Stole Christmas

"And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10
Well, here it is, the end of another Christmas! We are now looking at a whole new year and all that is headed our way in 2011. I lie here on the couch, having pulled a muscle yesterday, I have my computer on my lap, with the ice packs on my back. I begin to look at my blog then  I see a function at the top of my blog page that says, "next blog". Okay, so I decide that I want to explore the other blogs and wee what other people are saying. The first one, I found a blog by a teacher that had her adoption plans fall through and she was crying all the way through Christmas. Okay, on to the next blog and this one explains how lonely this Christmas was since the death of her parent and she was trying to find a way through her loss during the Holidays. Now I am seeing the Grinch in all those blogs and I think that I better get on to my emails. Now in my emails,  I read about people that are coping with lost jobs and incomes and then a woman dealing with her husband telling her that he wants a divorce. Hey guys, this is CHRISTMAS! You know, jingle bells, Winter Wonderland and the perfect Holidays with lights, presents, food and family. Well, the reality is, that life goes on and life is not perfect! What can really be the Grinch that steals Christmas, are those expectations that life has to be "perfect" during the Holidays! No, life goes on and so does unemployment, divorce, addictions, disappointment etc. What Christmas does for us is to give us hope because Christ is the gift! Jesus is the hope we can hold onto in the midst of "life". Expectations that things have to be wonderful, perfect and happy during the Holidays, sets us up for failure and disappointment. I heard a preacher say the other day, that we are to ask ourselves the question, "would this hurt less, if it was not Christmas?" That was a great reminder, that when we get disappointed or even rejected, does it hurt more because it is the Holiday? I too had a disappointment during the Holiday, when a family member did not show up for the Christmas Eve Service. I wanted to cry but I remember what I heard and I used a "measuring stick question"...."would I be as upset if it were not Christmas?". My answer was no. This meant that I had a greater expectation during the Holidays and that life does not depend or rely on circumstances that were around me. True joy is having the love of Christ in my heart and it does not go up and down, according to my circumstances. I heard once, "let not the circumstances of your life, define the circumstances of your heart". That is the difference between joy and happiness! I can have joy in my heart all the time because of my relationship with God. Happiness is temporary because it comes from external circumstances. Now I know how important the scripture is, "the joy of the Lord is my strength"! Let us really understand that we do have hope in this life and it came into this world in the form of a little baby, and his name is Jesus! He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! Jesus brings hope into the world.
Question: Are you going through some tough times during the Holidays? You can find perfect peace and joy through Jesus today!

Monday, December 20, 2010

With God, Nothing is Impossible - There are Only Possibilities

"Meanwhile a prophet came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the LORD.’”
 “But who will do this?” asked Ahab.The prophet replied, “This is what the LORD says: ‘The junior officers under the provincial commanders will do it.’”“And who will start the battle?” he asked. The prophet answered, “You will.” (1 Kings 20:13-14)

 Ever been in a situation where it seemed impossible? It is those times when your back seems to be pushed into a corner and there is no way out! It is that old saying, you are “between a rock and a hard place”. There is nothing that is impossible for God! For God, there are only possibilities. Look at today’s verse:

"Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the Lord”

God wants to do the impossible for us to show us with our own eyes, that nothing is impossible for Him. Even if our own eyes show us that there is no way for us to overcome the most difficult of circumstances, God is working through it for us and He will bring victory. The problem we often have is that we try to do it ourselves and not allow God to work His miracles. What is impossible for us is nothing for God and we can stand on Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of things we cannot see!" I trust that God can move mountains and even if my own eyes cannot see or perceive it, I will trust that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE with God!

Question: Are you facing an impossible situation today? Are you willing to trust in God and wait for His provisions?