Christmas used to feel magical. You remember the thrill of waking up on Christmas morning as a kid. The magic of tinsel and lights on your neighbors’ houses. The simple joy of baking cookies. The warmth of gathering with family and friends.
Now Christmas fills you with dread.
You look at your bank account and wonder, How can I possibly afford to do Christmas this year? You think of the parties and church functions you have to attend. The tickets you’ll have to buy for Christmas tours and shows. The food you’ll have to purchase and make when family comes into town. And it all feels like too much for your wallet.
You feel the pressure to live up to everyone’s expectations: the perfect family Christmas card, the perfect holiday party, the perfect gift. But all these things cost money, and you have none. You might think, How can I possibly find joy and peace this time of year when I feel so stressed?
God wants to bring you joy this Christmas. This season is about so much more than gifts and money. It’s bigger than twinkle lights and Christmas cookies and cards. Christmas is a time for us to remember the miracle of Jesus and his birth. During this time, we get to celebrate a God who loves us so much that he came down to earth so that we could experience the immeasurable joy of knowing him. We don’t need money to celebrate the gift of God’s love for us.
If you’re lacking joy this Christmas, tell God about it. If you’re missing financial stability, you can go to him with your problems. The Bible tells us that Jesus wants to take our stress and suffering from us, and he wants to give us his peace in return.
Crave joy this season? Pray through these verses with me as we ask God to bring us his joy:
God, I feel overwhelmed by the Christmas season. Help me find the words to tell you about my worries. Show me that you care to hear about my stress. Help me discover the true meaning of Christmas.
The Lord is near to those who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope. —Psalm 34:18
Lord, sometimes it’s hard for me to trust in you. Remind me that you love me and want to keep me safe in the comfort of your peace. Show me how to rely on your gift of peace and not the world’s version of Christmas happiness.
Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7
Jesus, thank you for being born as a baby so you could save me. Help me focus on you when I get distracted by the craziness of the Christmas season. Thank you for giving us all a reason to celebrate your birth this time of year. Amen.
You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; rich as he was, he made himself poor for your sake, in order to make you rich by means of his poverty. —2 Corinthians 8:9
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