Many people consider Christmas the happiest time of the year. But what if that isn’t the case for you this year? Maybe this is your first holiday season without a loved one. Perhaps you have just lost your job and money is tight. Or, it could be that the holidays remind you of bad memories you hope to forget, you’re all alone this year or a thousand other circumstances that just don’t really put you in the jolliest of moods.
Through Scripture, God offers words of comfort and encourages us to know that He is near to us in our time of need. If you or someone you love is having a difficult season, here are four things to keep in mind:
Allow Yourself to Feel Emotions
You don’t have to be happy at Christmas. At times, we all grieve or feel sad, overwhelmed, or lonely. It’s okay to not enjoy the festivities as much as everyone else. You are not a lesser person because happiness is a struggle. Take a deep breath and take the pressure of feeling happy off your shoulders right now. Life isn’t always easy and not always jolly. Scripture called Jesus a “man of suffering” (Isa. 53:3). Jesus understood and experienced emotions: grief, sorrow, anger, exhaustion, frustration, and agony.
Know that God is Present
God is with us: we are not alone. In fact, that is the central message of Christmas. Immanuel means “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). God cares for us and comforts us. Know that whatever you are going through or feeling He is right by your side to carry you through this season of life. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” God is there for you, so allow yourself to lean fully on Him.
Spend Time in Prayer
Prayer can often be seen as the cookie-cutter Christian answer to life's problems. But while it might not fix everything in an instant, prayer is incredibly powerful. Maybe you need peace to make it through these days, weeks, or months. John 14:27 says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."Ask God for His perfect peace this Christmas. Find a quiet space to be alone with God. Set aside a designated time to pray. And just be present with Him.
Soak in the Words of Scripture
Take time to read the Word of God this holiday season. Spending quiet time reading God’s Word can be refreshing and renewing for your mind and your soul. Today in the Word, a daily devotional Bible study offers Scripture readings that will focus your heart and mind on the true reason for Christmas. Some people find that reading a Psalm each day offers hope and comfort. In many of the Psalms, David expresses a range of emotions through a variety of different circumstances in his life. Scripture can speak to us in powerful ways and is vital to our daily life.