Philip. 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (NKJV)
We are going to be looking at the things that attempted to steal the joy from the hearts of some people who were present at the very first Christmas. We will look at Mary, Joseph, and the wise men and what tried to steal their joy. The number one joy key in our lives during Christmas and beyond is anxiety. Luke 1:29 “Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.” Mary was anxious, and we get anxious. At Christmas, many things that happen that we get anxious about; like what we will wear, what we will eat. Parents get anxious about doing the best for their children in seasons like this. Some are anxious about after Christmas. After Christmas, everyone is happy, but daddy is looking at his pocket and at what he has left. But what did Mary do when she was anxious? We need to do what Mary did when she was anxious. When Mary was anxious, she chose to trust God. I do not know what you are anxious about this season but I have the antidote and that is, trust God and accept His plans. Lk. 1:38 “Mary responded, ‘I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.’ And then the angel left her.” Have you ever made this decision in your life? Have you ever said; I accept God’s plan for my life? The day you decide to accept God’s plan for your life, anxiety will fade away.
I accept that God loves me. Sometimes, we struggle with believing that God loves us, and we do not accept that God loves us. And because we do not accept that God loves us, we get anxious about being accepted by men. But the day you accept that God loves me; totally accept it, that day anxiety goes out the window. God loves me so much He named me – God loves me. That is the meaning of my name. And it is a continuous thing; it is not a once and for all time thing. You need to accept what God has said about you; that you are wonderfully, and fearfully made. You need to accept that God loves you. Mary accepted it, and the result is nothing but joy. Luke 1:47 “My spirit finds its JOY in God, my Saviour” (GW, emphasis added). When you put your trust in God and choose to trust God completely for your life, the result inevitably is joy.
The second joy killer in our lives during Christmas and beyond is resentment over hurt, bitterness. Someone hurt you; maybe even on your way to work today, your spouse said or did something hurtful. Or you got a call from your cousin, that one that has been jealous of you since you were young. And he or she said some hurtful things. We struggle with hurt. We may get news from someone we have given our all to, and it is the news of betrayal like Joseph heard. Joseph was hurt when Mary broke the news that she was pregnant, and he knew the baby was not for him. What did Joseph do when he was hurt? We will get into that tomorrow.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am willing to accept whatever You have planned and want for my life. May every plan You have for me come true, in Jesus Name. Amen!