We have recently passed through the Thanksgiving season in the United States where I live. We are already immersed in the Christmas season, if the stores and decorated houses are any indication. Yet sometimes when we look at our own personal struggles and the tragic happenings in the world around us, we may struggle in our desire to be joyful in the Lord and in our desire to be grateful in all circumstances.
In the last months in our world there have been devastating hurricanes, terrorist attacks, and senseless killings, one of which was at a church where the people were worshiping on a Sunday morning. I don't know about you, but I have also had some personal struggles in my life. So how does one hold onto joy and gratitude in such times?
Jesus has said that we will have troubles and trials in this life. He said in John 16:33 in the Bible, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." The fact that He has overcome the world makes all the difference. He will walk beside us in this life. We also have the HOPE of an eternity free from difficulties and trials of this life in the future.
As we enter the Christmas season let's not forget the HOPE that Christ's coming to this earth brought us. He is willing to forgive our sins, walk beside us in life's struggles, and is preparing an eternity for us in the future. That should fill us with joy and gratitude, as we approach this Christmas season and into the new year.