Shining Light

December 2013: A Word From Dr. Stanley

Christmas is one of the most joyous times of year. Children overflow with excitement, loved ones send greetings and gifts, and celebrations fill the calendar. But for some, all the commotion only makes them feel more isolated. It’s as if everyone else is living in a cheerful scene from a Christmas card while they stand outside in the cold alone.

If you are dealing with burdens, loneliness, or heartache, I want you to know that Christmas is a time for you to rejoice. Though the trappings of our customary celebrations may actually deepen your sadness, the truth is that Christmas can bring you comfort just as it did for the first-century Jews who witnessed the fulfillment of God’s Messianic prophecies. For centuries, this expectation had kept them hopeful: “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us . . . and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).

Then, on that first Christmas night, the Light of the World was born in a dark stable. Most people were too busy with their own affairs to even notice. But Scripture mentions two—Simeon and Anna—who eagerly expected Him. (See Luke 2:25-38.) When the infant Messiah was brought to the temple, both of them approached with anticipation to see the “consolation of Israel” with their own eyes (Luke 2:25).

The hope and comfort Christ brought to those who were awaiting His arrival can be yours today. Although your darkness may be painful, it’s the perfect setting for the Light. Like the Israelites, many people today are too busy and overstressed to focus on the Savior. But when you’re sitting alone in the dark, He becomes more obvious. And that’s exactly what He will do if you’ll look away from whatever is causing you pain and focus on Him instead.

If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, you’re never truly alone, because the Light of the World is living inside you. He hasn’t singled you out for adversity; at some point, every human life is touched by hardship or sorrow. Your response is what matters. Instead of drawing inward, reach out for the Savior’s hand, and let His light shine in your heart. I pray that you experience the peace only He can provide this season and that you will be greatly blessed in the year to come.

Related Topics:  Peace

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