We are in one of the single most busy, stressful times of the year. Is this saying it is not a time of joy? I certainly hope not! What I am saying though, is that it is very easy to get so wrapped up in shopping, planning, wrapping, cooking, decorating and a plethora of other things we can find that “needs” to be done, that we forget what Christmas is about.
I know how exciting it is to watch our children and grandchildren open gifts with that wide-eyed sense of wonder. I can only imagine Mary and Joseph’s wide-eyed sense of wonder when they became the earthly parents to the Savior of the world! Were they worried/ fearful when they had to settle into a cave, outside of Bethlehem, for the son of God to be born? Were they worried/fearful of having the responsibility of raising the son of God? I think I would have been terrified! Maybe those fears were lessened after conversations with heavenly angels.
What about Joseph? How he must have felt when he learned Mary was with child! I can imagine anger, humiliation and – fear of what was to come? Gabriel must have been pretty convincing to ease all of that!
In the end though, it wasn’t worry or fear that kept them going or saw them through the birth of Jesus. It was pure and simple faith. “The more you trust God, the less afraid you will be.” Never easy, but so true.
When the busyness and stress begin to get the best of you, remember who holds our hand and has our back. Remember we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, not how many gifts Santa Claus or mom or dad, or grandma and grandpa can put under the tree. Remember Emmanuel – God is with us!
In His light,
Your Time Is in God’s Hands
By Rick Warren
“I trust in you, LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:14-15 NIV).
The opposite of fear is faith. When you fill your life with faith, fear goes out the back door. When things don’t happen on your timetable, the more you trust God, the less afraid you will be.
In Mark 5:36, Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me” (TLB).
This is such a big message in the Bible that the phrase “fear not” appears 365 times. God wants us to get the message that we don’t have to be afraid because we can trust his timing.
Trusting God is the number one stress reliever in your life—an important truth to remember at Christmastime. The more you trust God, the more your stress is going to decrease. Another way to relieve your stress and demonstrate your trust in God is when you ask him for something in prayer. When you do, don’t try to set a time limit or deadline on God’s answer. Leave the timing up to God.
To help your faith grow deeper, you need to pray a prayer like Psalm 31:14-15: “I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands” (NIV).
Why not memorize that Scripture? When you get up every morning, read Psalm 31 as a prayer and tell God, “I trust you, Lord. You’re my God. My times are in your hands.” Practically, that means you probably have more to do today than you’ve got time to get done. So, you ask God to help you sort it all out so that you can do what matters most and not worry about the rest. You say to him, “I surrender my schedule. I surrender my calendar. I surrender my agenda. My times are in your hand, and that means I’m not going to fear. I’m going to trust you.”