Merry Christmas to all who may be reading this little post. There would be nothing to celebrate without Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate this time of year. Of course we should celebrate and remember it (rather Him) every day of the year. The Lord always remembers us as His people, but we often fail to reciprocate. Many will be with family and friends this Christmas season and give and receive many gifts. The greatest gift of all of course is the unspeakable gift of Jesus Christ whom God gave for the sins of His people. Then we have the wonderful gift of eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23) We ourselves are the gift of God in that God gave the church (all His elect) to His only begotten Son as a bride and placed their welfare in His hands. What a great thought that we are a gift to the only begotten Son of God.
Many children of God are sufferings in many ways this season and it will be more difficult for them to have a Merry Christmas. Many have lost loved ones recently and there is that void that cannot be filled but the presence of the Lord helps make it bearable as His grace is sufficient. As a precious sister told me just the other day, “Time does help relieve some of the hurt” but the trauma and sadness still becomes overwhelming from time to time and it is then we need to be led to a higher source. “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. ” (Psalm 61:2) We have a high priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities and able to make intercession for us as His people. Millions of God’s people have died and didn’t know about the birth and death of Christ but that didn’t effect their destiny to be with the Lord in heaven. How much greater are we blessed to have the knowledge of the birth and death of Christ and what it accomplished; this knowledge comes through the gospel.
The gospel comforts the people of God who have lost loved ones and those who are trying to cope with the problems of life. “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins. ” (Isa. 40:1-2) Comfort makes the heart a little merrier because it transfers our focus from the temporal to the eternal. If we focus of that which we can see with our natural eyes, we will not be merry but will always be troubled. It is when we focus on the unseen, eternal things and then only that we enjoy an eternal weight of glory as Paul clearly tells us. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:17-18)
We can be merry, (joyful) even in the midst of tribulation and able to give thanks to the Lord because without Him we would not make it through. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians brethren, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thess. 5:18) We are not to give thanks FOR our tribulations and troubles; we are to give thanks IN our troubles as we remember the Lord. We just consider Jesus when our hearts are about to faint. “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Heb. 12:3) Some people think it is because of some particular sin they have done that is causing their sickness or affliction. Most likely this is not the case because people questioned Jesus as to what sin the blind man had done that had caused him to be blind. “Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9:3)
May the Lord bless each of us to be as merry as possible this Christmas amidst all the hoopla and commercialism of the season and try to focus past the material things to the things that really matter. Material gifts can be replaced but people cannot so minister to others as ye have opportunity and it will brighten your day. Love and God bless!–Elder Larry Wise–December 24, 2018