I love Christmas! It really is my favorite time of the year. I love Christmas music, Christmas trees, Christmas novels, Hallmark movies, buying gifts, and baking cookies. My favorite thing at Christmas is spending time with my loved ones.
I especially enjoyed Christmas when my girls were little. They were so excited and joyful. They beamed with wonder and delight. I remember one year when my oldest daughter was around 3, she would open a gift, and she would say, “Just what I always wanted.” She said this after each and every gift she opened. She was so grateful. It was adorable. What amazed me, though, was that a few days later, those gifts didn’t mean very much to her.
I am ashamed to say that many times in my life, I have received or bought something that I was overjoyed with, only to quickly forget about it. I thought if I bought those jeans, shoes, sweaters, or purses, I would be so happy. I think we call it “retail therapy.” A sure cure for the blues. I believed if I got that sweater, I would be filled with joy and peace. If I couldn’t afford it, I would put it on a credit card. I told myself, I did deserve to be happy. But shortly after that purchase, there would be something else I desperately wanted. It was a vicious cycle. I found the more stuff I bought, the higher my credit card debt grew. I quickly lost my peace and became very anxious. I still have to remind myself that stuff only brings short-term happiness.
Praise Jesus that he is happy and able to provide all the peace and joy and fulfillment we need when we trust him. He wants you to have a relationship with him. I believe that in order to have a healthy relationship with someone, you have to be open and honest, listen, spend time with that person, and grow to trust them. When you really trust someone, you will learn to be vulnerable, you will depend on that person, and you will show him or her your true self—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Jesus is so trustworthy, honest, and loving. He wants to fill that void you have been desperately trying to fill with the wrong things. It could be stuff, alcohol, drugs, food, or many other things. He wants to fill us with his peace and joy when we trust in him.
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.
I can personally attest to how true this is. Jesus is the only one who can fill that void in your life and in mine. When I really trust him and stop trying to make my own happiness, I feel his glorious love, joy, and peace so strongly. I am filled with his joy and peace regardless of my circumstances. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am to him for this free gift. I am like a little kid on Christmas morning: full of delight, joy, wonder, and peace. I can honestly say, “Jesus is just what I always wanted!”
What are you using to fill the empty void in your life? Is it bringing you lasting peace and joy? Have you considered that Jesus is the only one who can fill you with peace and joy?
Make a list of things you try to fill yourself up with when you are unhappy. Next time you are unhappy, pour out your heart to Jesus. Trust him and be vulnerable.
Jesus, I am so grateful that you love me so much! I know only you can bring me true joy and peace. Please forgive me when I try to do life my way. Help me to repent quickly and return to you. Thank you, that you alone fill me with joy and peace. I love you so much. Help me to grow closer and closer to you. Help me share your joy and peace with others so they may come to know you, too. Amen.
This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.
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