Today’s Reading: Lamentations 3; Hebrews 10:19-39

Today’s Thoughts: Staying Spiritual During the Holidays

“And you will have joy and gladness and many will rejoice at His birth.” - Luke 1:14

If the holidays are about our faith, family and food feasts, then why do we struggle the most with staying spiritual during these times? Shouldn’t these times bring us peace on earth and joy to the world? But the reality for many of us is that we become emotionally stressed out, financially maxed out and physically burned out trying to keep up and keep it all together. Day after day, we become burned out and stressed out and now, our faith becomes affected as we start questioning God, “Are You hearing me?” and “Why won’t You help me?” Like Eve in the garden, we question God’s goodness and His basic command. Eve exchanged the peace of God for a piece of fruit but we exchange His presence for presents.  The serpent tempted Eve to compromise and we know that Jesus called him a murderer from the beginning. He is still up to the same old tricks. We are allowing the enemy to have too much influence at times. He kills our dreams, steals our peace and destroys our hope for the future. Jesus came to earth to reverse the process of death and yet our undisciplined lifestyle of choosing not to obey can lead to negative consequences in our lives.

 To stay spiritually minded during the holidays, we need to keep our eyes focused on the Lord and include Him in our thoughts. Instead of talking to ourselves, we need to start talking to Him and then give Him the time to talk back. The enemy will use every scheme he can against us to distract us from maintaining a walk with the Lord. It has been said, “If the devil cannot make you bad, he will make you busy.” To combat the temptations to over commit in your time and finances, we must stay in the Word of God to renew our minds and to surrender to His will over our natural-born desires. Through the Holy Spirit, we can overcome and live a life pleasing to God that brings peace in the midst of chaos.

Joy to the world begins with each of us individually. Joy cannot come without the conscious awareness of the Lord’s promised presence wherever we go and whatever we do. By allowing our thoughts to think about God in the daily routines of life, we allow the Lord to have the ability to move through our actions. Only then can we truly maintain the Spirit of Christmas and sing the song, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

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