This past weekend I was overly tired trying to finish all our Christmas preparations and received an email that a dear friend who has valiantly fought a good fight against cancer will be crossing over into Jesus’ arms very soon. At first I was just so sad for this family the tears would not stop flowing. However, the truth is there is such hope for them because they are followers of Jesus and in the scope of eternal time they will be together again in the near future. What amazing hope!
Also this past weekend I started feeling overwhelmed regarding some family members who are not following the Lord right now. They claim to be Christians, but there does not seem to be a real heart for Jesus. As I was talking to the Lord about how I am becoming weary praying the same prayers for years, He led me to this incredible verse:
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We as believers have saints who have gone before us as examples of perseverance in order to encourage us to throw off everything that entangles and slows us down and to keep going. God marked out my race in life and your race in life. It is the life that He has given us and as long as we fix our eyes on Jesus there is always HOPE! No person, no sin, no tragedy, no hurt, no frustration, trouble, sickness or heart ache has the last word for you or me; JESUS has the last word! Now that is real hope. My job is to trust Him and keep moving forward.
Perhaps like me you will be with your family of origin at some point during this Holiday season. Trigger points will be set off; it is just what happens in families. We love our families, but at the same time some members can give us serious cause for prayer. This is where the Lord has been working the deepest in me. He has shown me that if they never change, I have changed. I have been redeemed, I have been set free, I am His now. Because I belong to Him, He expects my reactions to change and grow more to reflect Him. It is not really about “him” or “her”; it is about Jesus and me. Will you and I choose to stop in the middle of any trying situation and take our thoughts captive to His Lordship and ask His Spirit within us to intervene with the right words or no words at all? Or will we react the same old way in the flesh? He can handle everything so much better than you or I can. Let’s commit together that this season no matter what comes our way; we will ask Him for help, thank Him for always being there for us, and tell Him we trust Him!
If we are praying and trusting Jesus then good things are happening even if we can’t see any results yet. This Christmas season let us persevere in the hope we have in Jesus. He says He hears our every prayer and He is our greatest Advocate. He promises to work everything out for good when we give it all to Him. He encourages us to fix our eyes on Him; in other words, train our minds to think on His character and promises and what that means to us. He says He watches our every step; we are never out of His sight and this should give us incredible hope!
Psalm 126:5-6 (NLT) 5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. 6 They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
The harvest is a promise of hope you and I have because Jesus came to earth as a Son of man and Son of God! This Christmas will you choose to fix your eyes on Him?
Merry Christmas, Deborah