It’s Christmas Eve – a time for families to come together, for congregations to gather, for people all over the world to wait in anticipation to celebrate the birth of Jesus tomorrow. It’s a great time of year as we rejoice for a few days and then look forward to the new year.
Not everybody is fully celebrating today, though. For some people, the holiday is here without joy; the struggles of life are so intense that it’s hard to celebrate. For others, memories of great holidays are only painful today because their family is falling apart. Some are so caught in hidden sin that internal conviction and pain force them to fake their way through the holiday season.
With that in mind, here are some words of hope today:
- God knows exactly where you are. When Adam and Eve sinned, God went looking for them in the Garden. When Elijah cowered in discouragement, God found him in the cave. Don’t worry about trying to hide in any pain you’re experiencing today; the God who came to earth in Bethlehem is the God who will come to you wherever you are today.
- Somebody’s praying for you. If you don’t know who that person is, no need to worry – God does. If nobody else is, know that I’m praying even as I write this post for those hurting folks who will read these words. And, I’m asking every reader to take time to pray for other readers who are struggling today. Would you stop even now and pray before reading more?
- The Christmas story is about God’s coming for all people – including the weak and hurting. Christ was born in the town of Bethlehem, not in Jerusalem. He was placed in a manger, not in the palace of a king. His parents were nobodies, not the “rich and famous” of the day. Jesus would grow up to minister to the defeated, the discouraged, the demonized, and the dying.
- Perhaps today is another “eve” in your life. You see, an “eve” is not just any day; it’s the day before a special day or event. I don’t know what God’s doing in your life, but perhaps tomorrow you’ll find renewed hope. Maybe He will work supernaturally to free you from sin or restore your marriage. You might be “on the edge” of seeing God work this “eve.” Trust Him now.
- The enemy is not going to win. Christmas is but the beginning of the story. The baby brought light into the darkness, and He would break the back of the powers through His later death and resurrection. If you’re struggling this Christmas season, don’t forget the rest of the story!
Throughout this day, I’m setting aside moments to pray for those I know in need this Christmas Eve. Let me know how I can pray for you.
Be sure to check out Dr. Lawless’ daily blog posts at www.chucklawless.com. Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.