It seems like it’s it easier for us to find hope at Christmas. During the holidays, we can build up hope far more easily than during other times of the year—so many activities and so much excitement. But here’s the question: what is your hope founded in?
It may be that you think you will give the best gift or that you will get one in return. Your hope might rest in amazing time with family, or your thinking you’ll finally get your life together as the new year rings in—a fresh start. If this season is a difficult or complicated time of the year for you, then your hope at Christmas and New Year’s might simply be the accomplishment of “getting through” another holiday season. Regardless of your situation: we are all clinging to something for hope at Christmas.
The Danger of Misplaced Hope at Christmas
It can be easy to look to relationships, success, downtime, or new toys to fill us; but during this season, it can be even more tempting. Now, none of those things are bad in and of themselves. In fact, we can glorify God in our relationships, successes, downtime, and with our possessions. But it is very dangerous to start to look to those things to fill us—to provide us with purpose, hope, and satisfaction.
Unfortunately, we can often be left disappointed, frustrated, sad, and even bitter because what we were hoping would fill us left us empty. I’ve been guilty of this many times.
Let Jesus Fill You at Christmas
When I started at College Park Church, the Assistant Director of Soul Care, Ryan Berg, shared a simple, yet extremely practical and insightful statement with me. He said: “let Jesus fill you.”
Stop and let those words soak in. This statement is both convicting and inspiring because often, we talk about Jesus being the center of our lives. Yet, when we evaluate our desires, hopes, and daily actions, it isn’t true.
What Does it Look Like to Let Jesus Fill You?
So, how do we find hope at Christmas in the Lord, not turning to the false hopes around us? What does it look like to let Jesus fill us? We can start by spending time in his Word. That is always a wonderful place to start. A few other ideas to help us place our hope in Jesus are:
- Praying for those around us
- Journaling to him
- Taking thoughts running in our minds and speaking them to Jesus
- Pouring our hearts out to him through tears, song, or words
- Going on a walk and thanking the Lord for the nature that is around us; breathing in the air he created for us
I have a sticky note on my computer that says, “Let Jesus fill me—help me to trust Your plans in the day to day.” It serves as a wonderful reminder, particularly during the holiday season. Why? Because there is so much depth to the story of our Savior coming to us in the form of a baby and how that impacts our present and future realities.
Let us sit in that together. Thank you, Jesus, for coming to save this broken world. As John 15 reminds us, we need you. We need to be connected to you in order to live.
I want to leave you with two quotes from the book Uninvited, by Lysa Teurkurst. They stand out to me as helpful reminders within the context of our hope:
- “If we think lesser things can truly satisfy, we’ll forever chase the wind.”
- “With You, Jesus, I’m forever safe. I’m forever accepted. I’m forever held. Completely loved and always invited in.”
This Christmas and New Year season let’s turn our core heart’s desire to Jesus and look to him to be our full and complete satisfaction. Together, let’s say, “Lord Jesus, help us to let you fill us. We desperately need your help to do that.”