Christmas! It's the most wonderful time of the year! This season is miraculously wonderful not because of the scrumptious and sugary holiday cookies nor is it due to the lavish gifts found under the Christmas tree.
Christmas is not defined by the reindeer who dance or by the shoppers who spend. Christmas is not "Christmas" because of decorations or parties or even the chestnuts that you might find roasting by an open fire. Christmas is wonderful because of Him; it is wonderful because of a Baby that was born long ago and yet continues to live on in the hearts and lives of millions who dare to declare, "Let there be joy!"
The Christmas story found in the Bible, which is the historical account of the birth of Jesus, didn't start in Bethlehem or even in Nazareth. It began with an elderly couple who knew the deep fulfillment of living wholeheartedly for God. The Bible describes Elizabeth and Zacharias in the loveliest of ways: "They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord" (Luke 1:6, NASB).
We can learn from Elizabeth and Zacharias to be patient with God. We must trust God even when our circumstances are challenging and we must continue to live righteous lives through long days of disappointment. We must pray fervently and believe that God is listening to our prayers. We must continue to embrace positive heart attitudes even when we don't get our own way. We can allow the steadfastness of Elizabeth to remind us that true believers walk by faith and not by sight. Although she was barren, she continued to believe in the promises and in the nature of a faithful and miracle-working God.
God absolutely hears your prayers. He is listening intently to your requests and loves it when a believer comes to Him boldly and unashamedly. The Bible instructs Christians from every generation to ask and keep on asking, seek and keep right on seeking, knock and keep on knocking (Matt. 7:7).
Don't give up, my friend; don't ever give up! The message of Christmas speaks into our silent world today: we serve a God who answers the prayers of His children. While you wait, and while you pray, don't ever give up! Wait in faith and pray in hopeful expectation. For what have you been praying? Perhaps you are praying for an unsaved spouse or for a rebellious child. Maybe your fervent prayer is for a breakthrough in finances or it might be that health concerns have dominated your prayers for years and years. You need to follow the example of Elizabeth and Zacharias and continue to pray with expectation and with hope! It might seem like you haven't heard from God in 400 years but the answer and voice of God might only be one more prayer away.
Christmas is a time when we should all expect heaven's entrance into our dusty, dirty worlds. Christmas is a time that reminds us that miracles really do happen, that prayers are actually answered and that heaven is just one response away. You honor God when you ask of Him the impossible! I believe that "impossible" is what the God of Christmas does best!
During this Christmas season, what do you need to prepare your heart for? Do you need to make some lifestyle changes in order to accommodate the destiny that God has chosen for you? For those that He calls to do a great work, He also calls away into His presence.
Christmas is the season of hope and miracles, and it is also the season that calls all of us into a time of preparation for the destiny of God in our ordinary lives. I pray that you will take some time today, and every day, during this wonderful season to hide yourself in God's presence. Rather than wrap yourself in busyness and extravagance, snuggle up in His love for you and ask Him to reveal His destiny for your life.
I hope that you will pray with Elizabeth, and with me, "Lord, prepare me for what You are preparing for me."
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