It is hard to believe, but the Christmas season is here. We are beginning to see lights twinkle across our neighborhoods, trees are being decorated, stockings are being hung, and songs that are declaring this season to be the most wonderful time of the year can be heard throughout the city.
For many us, it is the most wonderful time of the year. We enjoy all of the music and decoration. We love experiencing the Christmas spirit and joy that people demonstrate. What really makes it wonderful, though, is that we get to spend time with loved ones. We have an opportunity to make memories, share meals, and show our friends and family that we care for them.
For others of us, Christmas is not the most wonderful time of the year—rather it is the most challenging time of the year. We have this picture of what Christmas should look like, but it never quite does. Our finances, family, and friends are a source of stress rather than a source of hope and joy.
The truth is that no matter which camp we are in, whether we find Christmas to be the most wonderful or most challenging time of the year, God has things that he wants us to experience and receive this Christmas.
Last weekend, Ben shared with us that we can only experience what we have room to receive. Sadly, many of us enter this season without any room and will miss out on what God wants us to experience.
As Ben pointed out, we often don’t realize how many unnecessary and unhelpful things we have in our lives. It could be that our own expectations are actually taking up space and causing us to miss out on what God wants to give us. It might be fear, anxiety, hurt, or shame that take up all the room in our lives. Perhaps, it is possessions, hobbies, or relationships. Not that those are bad things, but if we’re looking to them to provide joy and peace, they will fall short. It is God in whom we find hope and from whom we receive joy and peace.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we continue the LivingItOut Bible Study over the next few days, we will look at the hope God wants to give you this Christmas season that comes through trusting in him.
What do you have room for this Christmas? Are you excited by what God might bring into your life?
What are the unnecessary or unhelpful things in your life? Are you in an unhealthy relationship that prevents you from experiencing true love? Are there any possessions you could give away that would serve others better?
Make an inventory of things that may no longer be helpful or beneficial in your life in terms of possessions, activities, or unhealthy relationships. Make a commitment to create room in your life before Christmas by removing one item (or several, if your list is long) per week before Christmas Day.
Dear Father, thank you so much for letting us experience the wonderful season of Christmas to celebrate the birth of your Son. I am so grateful for this season, even if it may entail some challenges. Thank you for bringing me what I need most in my life to grow closer to you this Christmas, and please give me the strength and wisdom to make room in my life to receive your gifts. Amen.
This post was written by Ben Bockert. Ben is a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters. He is honored to serve as the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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