25 December 2017

THE CHRISTMAS BLUES



As the traditional saying doesn't go: 'Tis the season to be … gloomyAre you feeling low this Christmas season? You’re not alone. During Christmas there are many lonely people who are truly crying or dying on the inside. Sadly a majority of us don’t see it because they hide it so well. Tim Tebow said "The holiday season can often go from a season of thanksgiving, to a season of being more aware than ever of the things we do not have. Before long, we begin to believe lies about ourselves, and the discontent becomes consuming," the article reads. " God has orchestrated your life, your family and your story to be perfectly individual. When we compare ourselves to others, we rob ourselves of the joy that exists in being exactly who God created us to be."
  
Many single people dread Christmas season! One person wrote this “My family live too far away to visit, and my friends disappear to spend time with their own families. For me, Christmas and new year are the loneliest times of the year…” For many single people, struggling with loneliness this is the toughest part of being single. Evenings alone on the sofa, Sunday lunch for one, no one with whom to share holidays and sometimes the festive season, too. The Christmas and New Year season whether your single or married this is a time of year when loneliness, depression and sadness can take root in the lives of Christians.

Several factors can produce Christmas blues.

Hectic activity can bring physical and emotional stress.
Overspending can produce financial pressure.
Year-end reflection and focus on loss can magnify sorrow.


We know by the word of God that we shouldn’t feel this way… But we are human and it can and will happen if we don’t take the necessary steps to guard our hearts and mind. God never intended for us to feel this way at this time of year, but unfortunately there were individuals that did feel this way. Not necessarily at Christmas time, but they were real feels and it affected their Christian walk none the less. Here are some helpful ways to battle the Christmas Blues…..


MEDITATE ON THE PRECIOUS SCRIPTURE TO NOURISH YOUR WEARY SOUL.

Meditating on the word of God will guard your mind from falling into depression and fill you with the joy of Christ so that you will be able to enjoy the Season. The word will strengthen you and give you hope as you meditate on it. Psalm 119:28 "My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word." Psalm 130:5 "I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope."
  

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING AND LEAVE YOUR SORROW WITH A HOLY GOD WHO IS WHERE WE FIND TRUE PEACE.

The believer knows that prayer works! Pray about your situation and leave the rest to the Lord. He will work everything out, no matter how difficult the case may be, for your own good. Remember who you are praying too! “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Rom 8:28. Phil 4:6-7 reminds us of this truth! “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  
DON’T FORGET WHERE YOUR HOPE IS EVEN IF YOU FEEL DRAWN TO THE BLUES OF THE SEASON.

In Genesis we read that God originally created a perfect world. “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Gen 1:31. But it was soon marred by Adam and Eve’s sin and the consequence for sin was death. “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Gen 2:17. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 6:23. However, even during the darkest day in history, God offered a message of hope in the very first gospel message.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” Genesis 3:15

God promised that He would send a Savior who would conquer Satan and deal with the problem of death and suffering. Even though some of us may feel lonely or isolated during the Christmas holidays, it’s important for us to remember the hope that Jesus brings. The Incarnation, God becoming a man, is the very reason why we have hope. Without Jesus, we have no hope and only death/judgement to look forward to. “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thess 4:13-18

Here is my Christmas recommendation to you to overcome the Christmas blues!

Why not take time now to dedicate your Christmas to God?

Rest in Him
Find peace in Him
Rejoice in Him

As the shepherds did that night when they were sitting with their sheep in the field without any hope at all. “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” Luke 2:8-20

This is a season or a time to reflect the wonderful blessing that flow from Heaven through the Lord Jesus Christ. Who came to this earth to die a death we deserve and he did this through the Cross. But death could not hold Him for He rose again on the third day and we too can be raised with Him in the end through repentance and faith in Christ alone.

Not relying on getting better
Not relying on gaining favor with God
Not relying on my good works
Not relying on my circumstances.

But solely I Christ Jesus.

As Peter said “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12. There is no reason to have or go through the Christmas blues. And you might say “Mike you don’t know what I’ve gone through this year?” And you are right……but God does and He knew you were going to here today to hear His good news of grace and hope through His precious gospel. If you apply these simple truths to your life I guarantee you will be able to say “Tis the season to be jolly”

PLEASE remember! You are not alone and we have a holy God who loves you and gave Himself for you. All He asks of us is to repent and believe the gospel truth this evening. Surely that is the best reason to smile and have a merry Christmas filled with hope this year….God with Us! God bless and Merry Christmas on behalf of my family and the Calvary Baptist Church!


Here is that video I was trying to explain during the audio session of last night.....about the seriousness of lowliness at Christmas time for many people and sometimes the only way we respond is when its too late. Merry Christmas and to God be glory.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

A wonderful encouraging message as God brought to mind people to pray for.Tnanks Mike for taking the time to share what God has put in your heart.