Thursday, 6 December 2018

Christmas Presence

In the lead up to Christmas 2018 I felt the Lord was showing me another side to the festive season. Illness within my family and watching friends go through various different trials made me aware that sometimes this can be a very difficult time of year for people.

There’s so much pressure put on us through television and adverts to have our lives live up to the “Christmas Dream” and meet the ideal image of what Christmas time should be like. Images of carefree, happy families gathered around the table for a wonderful Christmas feast are projected from every screen and magazine it would seem. For so many reasons though this may not be the case for many people and this can lead to feelings of depression, stress, inadequacy and isolation.

During this time I remember walking up towards Regent Street with my husband Jan one evening. We were going to see the incredible Angels that light up that part of London at Christmas time. They normally bring so much joy and excitement to my heart and soul but after a bad diagnosis from the Doctor was given to someone very close to me, I found myself remarking to Jan,
“I’m looking at all the same, amazing twinkling lights as yesterday but now I feel like they’ve completely lost their sparkle.”

By God’s grace and mercy, Christmas 2018 was still a wonderful one in spite of the challenges we faced. His incredible ability to heal had my family singing His praises on Christmas Eve! I felt inspired to write a poem however that might address this subject and hopefully bring comfort and encouragement to someone who may not be feeling the festive spirit like everyone else around them seems to be.

If you feel the festive lights have lost their sparkle or you’re facing this Christmas with a heavy heart, I pray this poem can bring the focus back onto the real meaning of Christmas and encourage your soul today. Amid the glitter and the bustle of the season, let’s remember the miracle of that first Christmas. Well are the words sung each year,
“Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate Deity!”

No matter what’s going on in your life today remember you have a Saviour. I pray that you’d be filled with His peace and enveloped in His love as you draw close to Him this Christmas.
Christmas can be wonderful, a special time of year.
A time when many hearts and homes are filled with festive cheer.
Oh what joy to hear the songs and see the twinkling lights
As thrilling Christmas sights and smells bring warmth to winter nights.

Yet Christmas can be difficult and though it’s set apart,
For some it is a time endured and with a heavy heart.
Nostalgic thoughts or deep regrets bring feelings of despair,
Or facing Christmas dinner with a newly empty chair.

Financial woes and illnesses care not for Christmas peace.
Some trials are relentless and never seem to cease.
Though yuletide hymns may fill the air, bringing joy and glee,
For some they highlight just how lonely Christmas time can be.

Yet through our tribulation we know we can take heart
For One has overcome this world and set our lives apart.
The Baby in the manger was sent from God above.
In Him alone we find our hope, our peace, our joy, our love.

These things we can receive through Christ for God is generous.
A precious list of Christmas gifts our Saviour gives to us.
Although we may be downcast we needn’t be forlorn,
Remembering that Christmas is the time when Hope was born!

Hope that pierced the darkness to save the souls of man,
Redemption set in place by God before the world began.
Our hope through tribulation, though it may seem absurd
Is rooted in the certainty and promise of God’s Word.

Each morning brings new mercies, His compassions never fail.
Abounding in our hope through Christ we know we can prevail!
Hope for life eternal prevents us giving in
For Jesus is our portion and there’s always hope in Him.

This precious gift He gives us allays our fear and doubt,
Christ’s hope within our hearts is like a flame that won’t go out.
It’s presence ever faithful will bring the soul a lift.
When hope in God has been embraced then comes the second gift.

Peace that overflows within and brings our spirit rest
For Jesus took our sins as far as East is from the West!
Peace in God’s forgiveness, to know our debt is paid
So let your heart be troubled not nor let it be afraid.

Justified by faith in Christ, united with our King;
Tranquility and righteousness that only He can bring!
Although we may be troubled we needn’t be forlorn,
Remembering that Christmas is the time when Peace was born.

Sent to us from Heaven to fulfil the Father’s plan,
The Catalyst through Whom would come the peace for God and man.
Now we know the richness of God’s sweet communication,
Praise to the Almighty! There is peace for every nation!

Purchased by the blood of Christ, released from guilt and shame,
Accepted through His sacrifice we praise His holy name!
God struck the heart of darkness through His precious baby Boy,
When peace with Him has been embraced then comes the gift of joy!

Joy in our Redeemer, knowing He is in control.
Joy that grows in heart and mind and infiltrates the soul!
Joy that’s not reliant upon any circumstance,
Joy that glows and radiates through shining countenance!

Though “happiness” be fickle and a fleeting state of mind,
Joy remains through hardship for at it’s roots we find
The God Who made the moon and stars and gave the breath of life,
Gives constant strength and help to those who suffer times of strife.

Although we may be weary we needn’t be forlorn,
Remembering that Christmas is the time when Joy was born.
Only through this Saviour can our spirit grow and flourish
And tragedy is often where our faith is deeply nourished.

His joy will cast away our fears and fill our heart with reverence,
Joy that’s overflowing when we rest in Jesus’ presence.
Joy that stirs an inner song to hail our God above.
When joy in Christ has been embraced then comes the gift of love!

Love for other people, love for fellow man,
Inspired by the Prince of Peace, our God, the great I Am!
Although we may be broken we needn’t be forlorn,
Remembering that Christmas is the time when Love was born!

Though draped in Heaven’s glories, Christ chose to leave His Throne!
In human flesh He came to have the Father’s love made known.
The Lord of Earth and Heaven was willing to descend,
Burdened by humanity, He died and rose again!

The God of new beginnings makes broken spirits whole,
The God Who breathes new life into the dead parts of the soul!
Endless love through Jesus Who wipes away each tear.
His love, the perfect present to unwrap this time of year!

Let us not be mournful, let not our spirits sigh
For Christmas is the time when God responded to our cry.
Behold! The door is open for healing and salvation,
Redemption and eternal life await for every nation!

Glory in the highest! Let our sorrows melt away
As we offer up our praises and exalt His name today!
May the love of Jesus enfold us this Noel.
The victory is won through Him, our God, Emmanuel!

This Christmas, may we bask in Christ, our Gift from God above
And dwell in sweet surrender and the safety of His love.
May this season bring new joy and fill us with a reverence
For Jesus Christ our Saviour and His awesome Christmas Presence.

Matthew 11:28
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Romans 8:25
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”

Psalm 25:5
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long.”

Isaiah 40:31
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Lamentations 3:22-26
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:6-7
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

James 1:2-4
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

1 Peter 1:8-9
“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Nehemiah 8:10
“Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Luke 2:10-11
“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 Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.”

Habakkuk 3:18
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

Romans 15:13
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

1 John 3:1
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”

1 John 4:7
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

1 Peter 5:6-7
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

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