My husband and I snuck away to Spokane this week for a quick getaway. The time together was refreshing and fun and the Christmas lights and decor made the city feel festive and joyful. Driving home, I was thinking about how much I have come to love the Christmas season. As my affections for Jesus grow there is a deep richness to the season. But as we drove, I couldn’t help but think about people that this season is going to be especially tough for. They might love Jesus with all their heart, but they’re grieving, or awaiting the outcome of an unknown future.
Last week I heard about a woman who unexpectedly lost her young husband right before Thanksgiving. While I knew neither of them, by all accounts He was a godly man who loved Jesus, his wife, and their two small children. I couldn’t help but think that for Christmas this year, she might just need...endurance. I know there are people amongst us that might feel weary in the face of the lights, the decorations, the dinners and parties, the present buying and errand running. We have Christian brothers and sisters who delight in Jesus, yet the sadness that bites at their soul steals away some of the sweetness of the season. I thought about 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Sometimes in the midst of the valley just hanging on seems difficult. Enduring to the end takes strength and patience. In the times when we don’t know what God is doing, we hold fast to the promise that He is working all things for our good (Romans 8:28). We draw our strength from the knowledge that we can’t overcome all life’s circumstances, but He can. So in the face of weariness this holiday season, meditate on the promises of God. Draw your strength from Him and continue on. If you need a little extra dose of hope to get you through the next few weeks consider the following passages of scripture and pray through them one at a time, dwelling on the rich promises God has made to you.
● 1 Peter 5:10 – And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
● Hebrews 12:1-2 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
● Hebrews 12:13-14 – Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
● James 4:7-8 – Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it receives the early and the late rain. You also be patient.
● 2 Thessalonians 3:5 – May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
● Psalm 33:18 - Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love.