Christmas is a time of fellowship, joy, giving and even taking gifts or for some demanding gifts. 😀
It is often easy to give materialistic things but not so easy to give peace. Why is that? Because we ourselves don’t have peace in life. As a result, we struggle with sadness, depression, and addictions.
Two thousand years ago. The world at that time, specifically world of the Jewish people were going through the dark ages. This was called as the “Intertestamental Period” or “Silent Years”. It lasted for 400 Years.
During those times there was no prophetic word from God. Everything seemed to be dark and dull. It was at this time Jesus was born into the world bringing joy and gladness and putting an end to the silent period. He was born in a manger as a king. He split time. The years before him were called as BC, i.e. “Before Christ” and the ones after him as AD, a latin word called as “Anno Domini” means “After Christ.”
When he was born the Angels brought news to the shepherds, “They said, We bring you good news of Great Joy that will be for all people.” So when Jesus was born, there was a joy for the whole world, and there was peace for all mankind.
Later when Jesus began his ministry, He said these words, and it is recorded in John 10:10, “I have come so that you may have life and life in abundance.”
Quite often, I get to meet young people and counsel them. I was talking to a young boy a few days ago. He is in the early twenties. He called me to ask for prayers, He was saying, that he tried to kill himself but somehow survived. He made a few decisions that changed the course of his life, and it took away the peace from him. And for the past few weeks, he has been battling with suicidal thoughts.
The World Health Organisation, released a statistics many years ago saying, that around the world, one person dies every six seconds.
I’m not sure if you are following the news in our country(India). There are people, who are asking our Government to make suicide legal. As of now, Suicide is illegal in our country but there are people who are asking to make it legal, saying that they have the rights to take their own life.
It is estimated that more will die in the next 10 years out of depression than anyone has ever died of cancer in the last 10 years.
You may be reading this and thinking, come on man, this is the season of Christmas, why are you writing about suicide and depression.
The truth is this, we make the mistakes of seeing Christmas only as a time of Celebration..i.e. sing a few songs, party a bit, enjoy the festival season, hang out with friends late night, do what you want and enjoy life to the fullest.
And quite often, we miss the message of Christmas.
The Message of Christmas is this, that Jesus came down into this world to give peace, hope, and Joy to all mankind.
John 3:16, For God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but will have everlasting life.
Often times, we miss this message. That is why we end up in a bad state of life.
There are people who borrow money just to enjoy the Christmas in a glamorous way; at the end of the festival season, the lenders will come knocking at their door to get their money back. But, by then, they are totally out of all our resources. Some try to indulge themselves in drinking and partying so that they can forget all their worries and sadness.
I tell you this, worries and sadness are like your money lenders, they will come looking for you everyday…if they don’t find you or if they are not able to attack you that day…they will come back another day to attack and eventually Kill you.
Now the Question is this, How can I get this peace?
If we read the scriptures we see time and time again, God promises peace. In the Old Testament, Jesus has been given a name that is “Immanuel” which means “God with us”.
Many of us feel lonely at times. We feel like we need people to happy. We want someone to be around us always so that we can feel like, Yes I have someone. And when we don’t have anyone around us, we begin to feel lonely and depressed. We feel like we need someone to keep us happy.
Some of us try to live lives so that they can be accepted by others or accepted by their group of friends. So they do all it takes to fit into the lifestyle that others prefer. Even if it’s good or bad they are ready to embrace it because they want to be around people and not alone.
Lecrae, a gospel artist said like, “If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die of their rejection.”
Truth is, A person who has never learned to be happy alone can never be happy when he is in a group.
People suffer from sadness.
A Man when to Psychiatrist, to get himself treated for depression. He was depressed. The doctor looked at him said, instead of taking medicines, I suggest you go to this circus and watch this clown.. probably he will make you happy. When this man heard those words from the doctor. He put his head down. The Doctor asked what happened. He said I am the clown from the circus that you spoke about.
A Man who made everyone laugh with his tricks was never happy himself.
So the Bible clearly says, Jesus is Immanuel, that is, he is “God with us” and goes on to say,
In Isaiah 9:6, He will be called wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, Prince of Peace.
I want you to keep this word in your mind, “Prince of Peace”.
You see, the Immanuel, “God with us,” came down to be with us, and “because he came, we have peace”
We try to look for peace and happiness in relationships, in people, in movies, in songs, in our work and in everything we do. But we have failed to look unto Jesus for our peace.
He was called the “Prince of Peace” and an “Everlasting father”. There is no God like him. He gives peace to people who seek him and is a father to the fatherless and the orphans.
When Jesus said I have come so that you may have life and life in Abundance. That means. When you believe in Him. You won’t get to live life on a day-to-day basis or fight for survival but live life to the fullest and even continue to live in eternity with him.
Your life will be happy, joyful and peaceful. And also you will be able to give that peace to others.
In our celebrations of Christmas, we have failed to identify that one true God who came down to this earth to Give us peace.
I want to end this blog with few more real life examples of How God can give us peace.
I live today as a testimony of what God can do in our life. I was born into a Christian family. My parents have been in the ministry even before I was born. So, I was basically brought up in a church. I thought because I was born into a Christian family, I am saved. But truth be told, I wasn’t saved. I was highly guarded and protected as a kid. Didn’t know what the world was like. My family moved from one city another, that is when I found something that caught my attention on the internet. It was the dark side of the internet. Before I completely realized, I was addicted to pornography. I was heavily depressed. I was a short-tempered. I tried to run out of the home. I tried to cut myself with a knife. You see, one habit led me to another and to greater depths of depression and darkness.
The reality hit me when I went to college. I was in the third of Theology studies. I realized one day that I wasn’t saved. In other words, Jesus wasn’t the God of my life. I lived life the way I want and went to him when I needed him. I used him as a crutch.
I gave myself to God and he slowly began to work in my life and set me free from addictions to pornography and made me a happy person.
One day, I struggled with suicide. I heard this voice in my mind that said, “You are worthless. There is no reason to live. God has rejected you and now go kill yourself. This voice that was talking to me, gave me instructions as to how to kill myself.” I remember that night clearly. But God saved me. If it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t be alive today.
I write this as a testimony, It’s been almost 5 years since I visited any of those sites on the internet. God has kept me safe and has made me happy. Now if you ask me, what depression feels like, I honestly don’t know. God has put his peace in my heart that works beyond all understanding. He has kept me joyful in him and because of that, I am able to share this joy with others.
And if God can do that in my life. He can do that in your life also.
You may be suffering from depression, sadness, broken relationship, suicidal thoughts, and might be worried about your future. I want you to know something, only God; only Jesus can give you peace, happiness, can remove all your worries and can give you a hope for the future.
Augustine of Hippo, who lived around 400 AD wrote these beautiful words,
He writes this in a book called “Confessions of Augustine”. And I’m paraphrasing it, He writes, “You have created us for yourself O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they can find it’s rest in you”
Some of you may be trying to find God, you have been to several places and tried to find peace but haven’t found any peace and meaning for your life. I would say to you, Jesus is the only one that can give you peace. He is the Prince of Peace. He gives what he promises and never fails in his word. Come to Jesus and He will transform your life.
Some of you have given up all hopes on God, and have turned into an atheist thinking that this is a comfortable way. Because I can live life the way I want and do the things that I want to do. No one will or should question me or ask me anything. The Bible says, in Ecclesiastes 11:9, Rejoice O, young man, let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes.
But, “Here’s the important thing”, know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. Although you may not believe in God. Time will come when you stand before God in Judgement. He will call all things to account.
And the scripture also says, “Remember your creator in the days of your Youth”
I tell you this, one day, you will run out of all the reserves of happiness you have. People who are with you will leave and then you will realize that you need God in your life. I Hope that stage does not come when you are too old and have when you have lost all the vigor in your body. Turn back to God before it’s too late.
Some of you faithfully follow God. You trust in him but still struggle with depression and short-tempered behavior. This is what I say to you, Hold on to Jesus.
Many times in our Christian life, we begin to expect too much of blessings, promises, and prophecies to be fulfilled. But often times we miss the point. We hold on to the blessings, promises, and prophecies and leave Jesus. You have to understand that Jesus is the greatest blessing in your life, He is the promised one, and the prophesied one. You hold on to him and you will have everything.
I want to leave you with one last thing, As you celebrate Christmas, remember this, Jesus is the God who came to give what we needed the most. Often times we have a big list for Christmas. We have a lot of wants. But keep all that aside and ask Jesus for what you need the most. Ask God to fill you with peace. Because when you have peace you have him. When you have him in your life, you have everything.
God bless you. Have a wonderful Christmas Season.