God’s Promise for the Pain of Christmas - Daily Hope with Rick Warren - December 21, 2018
God’s Promise for the Pain of Christmas
By Rick Warren
“Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity” (Joel 2:13 NIV).
We often have an idealized and romanticized picture of the days leading up to the first Christmas.
We see Christmas cards and nativity scenes, and we assume those days were stress-free. But that’s far from how those involved in the first Christmas actually felt.
The very first Christmas didn’t start out as a merry time for most of those involved. The news that Jesus was coming stressed everyone out.
- Mary was confused and worried. An angel had told her that she would give birth to the Son of God. She didn’t know what would happen to her engagement. Her future seemed bleak.
- Joseph was hurt and brokenhearted. His fiancée had told him that she was pregnant. He felt hurt and cheated on.
- The shepherds were afraid. They saw a bright light and watched angels appear out of nowhere.
- The wise men were exhausted. They traveled a long way to get to Jesus. They were ready for rest.
You may be in similar shoes this Christmas. You may feel confused, hurt, afraid, or simply exhausted.
What does this Christmas story have to say to you?
Over the next few devotionals, I’ll go deeper into how each of these central characters in the Christmas story responded to their pain—and how God changed everything for them in response.
But they all have one thing in common: They turned to God.
The Bible says, “Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity” (Joel 2:13 NIV).
No matter what you’re going through, God loves you. When you turn to God, he won’t turn away.
On that very first Christmas, every one of these characters turned to God. They all looked to him to meet their greatest needs.
God was there for Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men.
He’ll be there for you, too.
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!
Daily Hope 2018 Prayer Journal
Learn how to pray prayers that expect answers!
Do you sometimes struggle with how to talk and listen to God? The good news is he longs to hear your prayers, whether it’s a bold cry or a whisper. And your words don’t need to be perfect. He delights in you when you come before him—in thanksgiving and petition.
Jesus says in John 15:7 . . .
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
So the key to praying with hope and expectation is abiding in Christ—and we want to help you do that with the all-new Daily Hope Prayer Journal. Your faith will be strengthened and you will be blessed as you look back on your written prayers and see how God has faithfully answered them.
It has a soft cork-like cover on the outside, while inside you’ll find . . .
• Bible verses and suggestions to help you pray for specific people and situations
• Practical encouragement for your prayer life from Pastor Rick
• Plenty of space to write out your prayer requests and how God answers them
The all-new Daily Hope Prayer Journal is our way to say thanks for your financial support of Daily Hope today. So request yours when you give below.
Thank you for your gift to share the hope of Christ through Daily Hope!
This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.