Have you ever felt like the Christmas classic “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” is a cruel lie? If you live in the same world I do, you might. A recent widow or widower might. A cancer patient or her family might. A family broken by infidelity or divorce might. If that is you, you are normal. But the answer isn’t to wallow in depression, cynicism or thoughts of suicide. The answer is to look to the Savior. When we do that, there is hope and the grace of Christ. Then it can be soul satisfying time of year.
The very thing Christians celebrate at Christmas is the very thing everyone still needs. Jesus did not enter human existence at a nostalgic, warm and triumphant moment in human history. He entered at the worst of times for the worst of sinners. Yet, it was the perfect time for God, because He sent his son to be the only Savior. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). Here are a few ways you need and can find a savior.
"We need Christ to be with us in all circumstances, not merely to change them."
Salvation from rule keeping. Everyone lives by a set of rules. We often do it to feel good about ourselves or to make our circumstances turn out better. Often the strife we experience in our relationships is because we have failed to keep even our own rules, let alone God’s. It’s always the right time to call out to God for forgiveness from disobeying him. Christ is the only one who ever has kept them, and his death was a full payment for all of them. The Apostle Paul writes, “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Rom. 5:19 ESV). It’s also imperative to call out for help to keep them and restore those relationships.
Salvation from over-expectations. We often expect good health, wonderful family gatherings, or excellent circumstances. That isn’t bad. But sometimes we want those things more than Christ himself. When those expectations are dashed, we can get angry with family and friends or fall into deep despair. What we need is Christ to be with us in all circumstances, not merely to change them. Jesus’ brother James writes, “Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble… Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:5-6,10).
"Grace makes a soul satisfying Christmas."
Salvation from financial worries. We need money to live. Our heavenly father knows this. He promises to meet our needs (Matthew 6:30-33). With expectations on gift giving, plus the increased expenses of winter living, finances are often tight at Christmas. We worry about what others think of us, or despair over not giving what we want to be able to give. We need to look to God who is our true helper. Hebrews 13:5-6 says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
With a heart of faith and hope in Christ, this is a time to call out to him in prayer and ask for him to help you in any area where we need rescue. We need rescue from ourselves, sin, suffering, and worries. When you cry out humbly, he promises grace. Grace makes a soul satisfying Christmas. Then watch Him work out answers to all your needs.