“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10 (HCSB)
I will never forget my first Christmas as a follower of Christ. I was thousands of miles from home, grieving my mother’s passing, battling my addictions, flat broke, and almost out of hope. My life seemed bleak and I couldn’t understand why. Desperate for understanding, I sought out my pastor and he read today’s verse to me.
We have a God of hope, faith and love. He comes to offer life in our darkest hours, while the thief seeks to kill and destroy. God doesn’t offer us a bed of roses; in fact, our situation can sometimes feel like a bed of thorns. His abundance is not found in our circumstances or material possessions. Rather, it’s found deep within our hearts.
When Paul and Silas were arrested in Philippi, their circumstances could not have been much worse; they’d been beaten, whipped and thrown in jail. If they’d focused on their circumstances, they would have lost their joy and hope, but turning to God in songs of praise, abundance came alive in them. The Spirit filled them with hope, faith, and joy.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (HCSB)
If your Christmas is looking less-than-ideal or is even painful, remember that God hasn’t forgotten you. He wants to fill you till overflowing with His hope, peace, and joy. Press in to His abundance by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, help us to press into Your hope and Your faithfulness Lord. Help me rest in Your promise of an abundant life and know that our circumstances are just temporal. Amen.
If pain is causing you to focus inward this Christmas season, try turning Christmas upside down.