Sad This Christmas? — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Sad This Christmas? — Morning Devotions

Christmas is never as satisfying as you think it should be. Jesus is the only thing that truly satisfies the needs of our heart.

Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.

By Chris WittsThursday 24 Dec 2020Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 5 minutes

Christmas is often described as the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for many people the holiday season can be hard—there can be great sadness today.

Tight Finances

Finances can be an issue. It never feels more important to spend money than during the holiday spending rush. But it’s not easy with financial uncertainty, and money may be tight. They say money is not happiness, but maybe money, or the lack of it, has got you kind of down this season.

There is a way to still be happy. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 8:9 (NKJV): “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.”

For your sake Jesus became poor, so that you might become rich.

Jesus became poor in every single sense when he came to this earth. When he experienced poverty, it wasn’t because of the economy or hard times. He stepped down from heaven and lived a life without money or provision, because he loves you. And what he offers you is love and provision in this life, but also the wealth of eternal life to come. In him you are rich.

How to share ‘good tidings’ with those sad over finances this season? It’s simple. Become poor. Sacrifice financially for someone this year. Volunteer to serve food. Buy gifts for a family in your neighbourhood. Bake gifts for people in need. Share with someone how poor in spirit you once were, and how Jesus has made your heart rich and full. Be vulnerable with people this season.

A Sense of Awkwardness

There could be a sense of awkwardness today. Everyone wants their holiday family time to be smooth and memorable, but in some families it just feels impossible. Maybe there is hurt and wounds. Maybe families are split by divorce. Maybe there is bitterness—or awkward family drama.

And maybe the pressure of it all is taking your ‘peace on earth’ and dragging you down. There is still a way to be happy. Jesus can be your peace. Your peace will depend on what you allow yourself to think about and who you trust with your situation. Isaiah 26:3-4 (NKJV) says: “You will keep him or her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he or she trusts you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”

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Share your peace with others. The presence of peace in the midst of strife and awkwardness is as noticeable as the elephant in the room. Practice peace. The Bible says, “Seek peace and pursue it.” Keep your eyes open at gatherings and in shopping centres for the people who need the peace of Jesus. Maybe instead of letting those people make you angry, share some of your peace with them.

Feeling Far Away

Distance can make people sad. Christmas is portrayed as a time to celebrate with family and friends. This expectation is really difficult when those people are far away, and loneliness can suddenly feel worse than ever. If the people you love are far away, there’s still a way to be happy.

Jesus understands the distance. When he carried our sin and our shame to the cross, he was separated from his Father. But Jesus paid the price to bring us close to God, and we have the opportunity to never be far away from his perfect love. Ephesians 2:12-13 (ESV) says: “…remember that you were at that time separated from Christ…having no hope without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Draw close to those who feel far away. Look for people who feel like that, go to them, take time for them, and invite them into your home or celebrations. Bring them close to you with the intention to bring them close to Jesus.

Mourning and Grief

Loss is very difficult to handle at Christmas. Mourning and grief are hard enough without the holidays, but during Christmas the hole in your heart seems amplified by ten thousand. It feels like life could not go on and Christmas couldn’t happen without your loved one, yet no one else in the world seems to notice they are gone. There is still a way to be happy.

John 11 tells a story about a friend of Jesus named Lazarus who dies. When Jesus arrives at the tomb of his friend, the Bible says that Jesus wept over the death of his friend. Jesus knows what it is like to suffer loss and to mourn. The amazing thing about this passage is that Jesus was moments from raising Lazarus from the dead when he weeps.

Jesus understands loss

It’s a great thing to know that Jesus understands loss. He understands; it is OK to still weep. Remember this promise. In John 11:25-26 (ESV) we learn what Jesus told Lazarus’ sister: “Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?

Jesus did not stand by as an observer while he walked on this earth. He was a full and vulnerable participant in life with men and women. Let us weep with one another, share in stories from our past. When we do this with one another, we will earn a place to share our joy and hope. Let us then, remind each other of what is to come—the resurrection when there will be no more sadness and tears.

Your Expectation for Christmas

So what is your expectation this Christmas season? Possibly the biggest reason people are sad during Christmas is because the holiday experience never lives up to their imagination’s expectation. It’s so sad, but it is just never perfect no matter how hard you try. Christmas is never as satisfying as you think it should be. There is still a way to be happy.

Jesus is the only thing that truly satisfies the needs of our heart. Every single thing we think we need in this life is only pointing to the greater needs of our heart. And nothing earthly, no matter how good it is, could ever meet an eternal need. Psalm 107:9 says: “For He (Jesus) satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.”

This Christmas, tell someone your story. Give Jesus to someone who has been let down by the expectations of Christmas.