WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Christmas”

Tribulations, Gratitude, And The Holidays

Tribulation:CS Lewis

Difficult times do not go on vacation when the holidays roll in. Loved ones still die, brave fighting men and women continue to endure battle wounds, terrorists find new ways to murder innocent people, financial ruin knocks down new doors, and terminal or debilitating illnesses are still diagnosed. But the “God who foresaw your tribulation has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.”  ~ C.S. Lewis

You might not feel like celebrating the birth of Christ Jesus this year. The trials of 2015 may have knocked you sideways, and an attitude of gratitude might be tucked further away than just your back pocket. God understands. Did His heart not break when we crucified His son?

He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.Isaiah 53:3 (NKJV)

Yet, Jesus rose from the grave… victorious. He ascended into heaven and once again found His way to the Father’s right hand. Although life may seem like ashes, you too will rise victoriously. Hold on to your faith.

“Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.” ~ Oswald Chambers.

God keeps watch over His children both day and night. His love for us is what strengthens and equips us, always whispering inside our hearts to persevere. When the act of breathing seems too great a burden, God makes it His business and breath for us. He understands our pain. He gives power to the weak.

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.Isaiah 40:29 (NKJV)

 When the mysteries and sorrows of life attempt to steal our hope, the promises of God are what we must claim. Write them down. Recite them out loud. Sing them to the heavens.

“We have to interpret the mysteries of life in the light of our knowledge of God. Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God’s character, we do not yet know Him.”   ~ Oswald Chambers

 God is perpetually refining His children and seeking relationship. Intimacy is important to the Father and He longs for us to draw near. The Creator knows everything about us. Isn’t it remarkable that the Potter wants to confide and share His knowledge with His vessels? Dare we ask, “How well do I know my God?”

Should this holiday find you in the grips of despair or heart-wrenching sorrows, be encouraged with this good news. The PEACE of CHRIST never left you. It is still available and free. The JOY of Christ is also still present. Not giggles and smiles necessarily, but real JOY. Christian joy is knowing God. This Joy tells us that ALL sorrow will pass and eternity awaits our homecoming.

Praising God for the blessed gift of His Son, especially during painful times, is in itself a gift we offer the Father. And in the tradition of Christmas giving, I shall ask, “Will you offer this gift of praise to the One who loves you most? To the One who died for your sins and understands your pain?” You don’t have to put up Christmas lights, or even a tree. Just celebrate the reason for the season with JOY in your heart. JOY that you are His and HE is yours.

“There is a great difference between Christian experience and Christian faith. The danger of experience is that our faith is made to rest in it, instead of seeing that our experience is simply a doorway to God.” ~ Oswald Chambers

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When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.”                  Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NIV)

 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 (NKJV)

 “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV)

 

Merry Christmas!

*Xmas

May the gift of God, sent from heaven above, be in your hearts this Christmas and throughout the New Year.

Blessings upon your heads! Cheryl

Merry Christmas!

Christ

Dear One,

I want to thank you for visiting my blog. I promise to continue writing words of encouragement and hope every week, through the help and grace of our Savior.  It is such a blessing to serve God in this way and I do so love hearing from all of you.

I leave for Arizona to visit my parents on Sunday. Please pray for my mom as she is not doing well, and dad needs God’s grace and wisdom.   Merry CHRISTmas to you!! Remember, He is the reason for the season. Our focus needs to be on the incredible gift of salvation, and the humility of Jesus as He left His heavenly throne to live among us as flesh and blood.

I will leave you to meditate on this wonderful quote by St. Augustine….. 

“He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute”  ~Saint Augustine

 

Laughter During Seasons of Adversity

Snowman Diet
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!”  Psalm 107:19-21 (NKJV)

When adversity comes your way, it is hard to keep a sense of humor. In fact, smiling and laughing will walk out the door when grief or difficult trials hit. Of course there is an appropriate time and place for laughter, and joking when someone is in the pit of despair is highly inappropriate. However, laughter is good medicine and I want to remind those traversing through a hardship that there will be happier times in your future.

If you have suffered a loss, especially during the holiday season, I encourage you to focus on the wonder and magnificent gift of our Savior. His obedience to leave His heavenly kingdom, in order to become flesh and blood, was such an act of love. His humble birth could not stop royalty from bowing at His infant feet. Jesus has not abandoned you in your hardship. If you look closely about you, His love will be apparent everywhere.

 God bless you, dear one! I pray you find healing and peace during this holiday season. I also pray that there is a moment or two when your sorrow is swept aside and laughter fills your heart.

O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me.”  Psalm 30:2 (NKJV) 

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit drains one’s strength.” Proverbs 17:22 (NSV)

The Humility Found In Christmas

Xmas

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NKJV)

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:9-12 (NKJV)

Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33 (NIV)

Amazing!

Jesus left His home in heaven, His eternal fellowship with Father God, and became man for the sake of all mankind. He dwelt among us! Because our transgressions had separated us from God, we needed a Redeemer. Yes, we needed somebody who would stand in the gap and mediate on our behalf. Only through the death and resurrection of His only Son could God call us His adopted children, and once again offer us the hand of fellowship. Oh, PRAISE the holy name of Jesus! 

God planned the birth of Christ even before Adman and Eve were created and placed in the Garden of Eden. He knew they would be tempted and deceived by the serpent. I am sure God’s heart broke when sin was birthed in the paradise He had created for them. 

The humble emergence of baby Jesus, often remembered at Christmas, gives us insight into the heart of God. He did not pick a wealthy couple of immeasurable means to care for His son. He did not pick a mighty man of power or a famous and prominent woman to raise His son. Instead He saw the quiet and sincere faith of both Joseph and Mary and selected them for the honor. An honor that was both costly and painful. But because of their humility, they were also to become special examples of God’s grace.

“ But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,
 but gives grace to the humble.”” James 4:6 (NKJV)

Humility is important to God. Take note of Christ’s place of birth, a stable. God provides for all our needs, so Mary was not forced to give birth to the Son of man in the wilderness. No, a warm stable that was out of the elements was God’s provision. This humble environment was the place God chose for our Deliverer to enter the world…. But why? There must be a reason! 

When we are in need, there is a greater urge to call upon God and rely on His provisions. Because Mary accepted the honor of being the Mother of Jesus, she faced much ridicule and doubt from her community….even from her betrothed. She fell upon the grace of God and in her humility He smiled and provided.

When God’s son was about to enter the world, He again saw Mary’s needs and provided a warm and safe place for the birth. He did not provide a wealthy establishment or mansion. It was to rural shepherds that angels appeared and announced our Savior’s birth. This act shows God’s concern for His people, regardless of social class and vocation. We all matter to our heavenly Father.

Jesus came into the world to save sinners, yet there are both rich and poor sinners. Again I ask, why did God give Jesus such a humble birth and life, especially since leaving heaven was already a sacrifice of humility beyond our comprehension?

We find the answer in Scripture. 

By reading Philippians 2:3-9 we see the importance of putting others first, esteeming them better than ourselves. God wants us to be concerned with the needs of others. This is one way to grow in love. In addition, we are told to have a mind like Christ. Jesus was humble and therefore, we too should walk in humility for it pleases our Creator. Jesus humbled himself by becoming the Son of man, taking on even the appearance of man. Because of His humble obedience at the cross, God has rewarded Him with a name above all others.

Humility gives God glory. He created us for fellowship but also so that we might glorify His name. When we live humble lives, whether we are rich or poor, we honor God. By putting the needs of others before our own, we are demonstrating the true love of God. This love is the light within us that should not be hidden under a bushel. The reason Christ came into this world was so that all men/women would be saved. We could not ask for a better role model.  The humility of Christ is wondrous. http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Luke/Birth-Jesus

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38 (NKJV)

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name” Philippians 2:3-9 (NKJV)

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 (NKJV) 

Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16 (NKJV)

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