Today’s Passage: Habakkuk 3:17-19
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. — Habakkuk 3:18
The older I get, the more Christmas seems to come sooner and sooner. I love Christmas and everything about the season, so this is good news for me. But I am reminded of the year that I was not excited and was really struggling to find my Christmas cheer.
It was December of 2013 and as I sat down to my morning devotion the opening sentence was “I am taking care of you” from I Peter 5:7.
I wrote in my journal that day that I did not feel very taken care of. Everything comfortable and familiar had been shaken. Just a few months before our family had experienced a financial loss that still had me struggling to find my footing. Everything I would normally do this time of year felt wrong: baking, decorating, shopping, wrapping, smiling. I just wanted it to be January. But taking God at His word, I made a decision to cast all my cares and worries on Him, believing that He cares for me and trusting Him moment by moment to meet my needs.
Yes, this Christmas looked different, but I asked God to refocus me. I made a decision that my joy would not be tied to my bank account but would be reflective of my relationship with Him. I also decided to be satisfied. As John Piper states well, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.”
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you are not looking forward to Christmas this year. Maybe it’s tough seeing everyone so happy when that is the farthest from how you feel. We can’t put life’s unexpected twists where we want them on the calendar. Would you accept the challenge to praise God regardless of your circumstances. Praise turns the lights on in our darkness!
Or maybe you know someone who is struggling with sickness, loss, death, or divorce. Is there a way you could share the love of Jesus with them and brighten their season?
The Christmas Eve service at Salem is my favorite of the whole year. I vividly remember Christmas Eve 2013. As the room went dark and we began to sing Silent Night, the tears began to flow. The contrast of that first candle light against the dark room was overwhelming. It was a reminder of how my decision to praise God no matter how I felt was the first light to changing my heart.
Father, thank you for giving us hope, peace, and joy no matter the circumstances. In Jesus’s name, amen.