Saturday, December 20, 2008

Strength to go on

Nehemiah 8:9-12 (New International Version)

9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, "This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve."

12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

Christmas is Jesus' birthday. Every Sunday is Easter, which is His re-Birthday. So take strength from the fact that He finds joy in you. You are His child, His "pride and joy." When our strength is zapped and we are weak and exhausted from depression or despair, we need to seek Him. By spending time with God, in prayer, by reading the Bible, by singing to Him- He renews our strength. Here's something that I've been praying every day for a while now-

"Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."

~Psalm 51:10-12

Even in my grief for my brother-in-law and my aunt, even in my anxiety about work and money, even in my disappointments about my dreams, I can remember that Jesus was born and died and rose to save me so that I could be in a relationship with Him. No matter how bad I've been or how much of a failure I think I am, He loved me and has prepared a place for me with Him in Heaven. Surely if there's no joy to find in any of my other relationships- I can find joy in the fact that the very creator and ruler of the universe wants to be my friend, my brother and my father.

I hope that no matter what you've been going through this year and no matter what worried are heavy on your heart- you cans still find joy in the miracle of Christmas.

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