It's not a big surprise that the holidays are hard for a lot of us. I've been to three funerals in as many weeks so I'm feeling the weight of the season more than usual. Maybe you've lost someone you love this year and there will be a gaping void at your Christmas table. Maybe there's been a divorce in the family and you're navigating new traditions and mourning the loss of old ones. Maybe the stress of overspending is weighing heavily on your spirit. Maybe you can't quite put your finger on why you're "not feeling it" this year, but you sense a low grade depression descending just when everyone else is making merry. Maybe it all just feels like too much work.
Christians, eagerly awaiting the birth of Light of the World, aren't immune to the darkness that threatens to rob us of the joy and hope Jesus came into the world to offer. Pastors counsel more lonely, grieving, stressed people at this time of year than any other season. You're not alone if you find "the most wonderful time of the year" incredibly difficult.
The HOPE we have in Jesus often gets lost in the clatter of the season. But real hope is a real thing. If you're struggling to find hope this holiday season, here is some Truth to spend some time with:
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
1 Peter 1:3
In addition, this is a great resource if you're looking for more hope this holiday season.
I pray that "the hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight" for you and those you love.