Finding True Joy This Christmas
One of my favorite Christmas movies growing up was 'Jingle All the Way' with Arnold Schwarzenegger from the '90s! If you watched it, you remember, similar to those real life toy crazes (aka 'tickle-me Elmo'!), that one dad (Awww-nold) fought with another dad over the last 'Turbo Man,' the imaginary toy craze of that holiday season, as they were parents trying to find their happiness by making their kids happy.
Like those dads, we all want our kids to be happy; yet instead of fighting over a toy, maybe you are like me and you take your kids to the best Christmas light display in the area (cough...cough... the Heights in Jupiter), hoping that it will make everyone happy, when all it seemed to the do the last time we went, is get me frustrated as we waited in line for what seemed like hours (ok... ok... 1 hour). Maybe like me you have a not-so-proud moment when trying to find happiness made you and everyone around you - frustrated. How do we find true joy instead of just temporary happiness this Christmas season?
In Philippians 4:2-6 (read the Bible passage here) - the apostle Paul is encouraging two people in the church to work through an obvious and public disagreement (like Arnold and the other parent fighting over a toy:)) by commanding them to be joyful in the Lord (verse 4).
So, according to Paul, how do they (and we) find joy especially when disagreements and frustrations arise at this time of year?
Along with other advice, Paul encourages the ladies (and us) to remember their true hope - that our life after death is guaranteed with God if we have given our life to Jesus. As Paul says in verse 3b, 'whose names are written in the Book of Life (NLT).'... and in verse 5b, 'remember, the Lord is coming soon (NLT).'
Does it matter if I have to wait a little bit longer for a light show or that I don't get that toy for my kid when I know that my eternity is safe with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords?
Yet I know we know that truth...so how do we put that truth into practice? Check out verse 6, 'don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done (NLT).' Entrust what you are disagreeing about to God... and you will find that your issue with another person will fade as you are grateful instead of grumpy. Sometimes we need a mediator to be reconciled in bigger disagreements (see verse 3a), yet as much as its up to you, make sure you have given it to God and are grateful for the true Hope He has provided for you.
Praying for you! Please, let me know how it goes for you this Christmas season by emailing me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Truly, joy to the World, the Lord is come!:)