Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Personal Message From the Christmas Story

“And blessed (happy, to be envied) is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:45)

          As I sat down last Sunday morning to read the Christmas story, I asked the Lord to speak to me through the story of Jesus’ birth like never before and for His Holy Spirit to illuminate the Word and deepen my understanding of the scriptures I was about to read.
          While I read the story about Zachariah and Elizabeth’s pregnancy, and about the angel Gabriel who visited Mary to inform her she was going to give birth to Jesus, Luke 1:45 jumped out at me for the first time—despite the fact I read this story practically every year. In its context, Elizabeth in her old age and pregnant was rejoicing that Mary came to visit her. Elizabeth exclaimed that Mary was blessed as well as the fruit of her womb, because she was carrying the Lord Jesus. Elizabeth also exclaimed that Mary was blessed because she believed the things the Lord had spoken to her and that they would be fulfilled. Then Mary began to enthusiastically praise the Lord.
          The fact that Mary was blessed because she believed what the Lord had spoken to her would be fulfilled really resonated with me. There are many prayers I’ve prayed over the last 16 years and continue to pray, and they still haven’t come to pass. And there have been and still are times I lose hope and just want to give up. But God reminded me in that passage that He has given me promises: promises for my marriage, promises for my family, promises regarding my career, and countless promises concerning the blessings I have in Christ. And he reminded me that I should continue to believe them, and that they will be fulfilled—and not to lose hope.
          So as I celebrate the birth of Jesus the Messiah this Christmas season, I will once again meditate on the promises the Lord has spoken to me and recommit myself to believing that they will be fulfilled as Mary did and be blessed. If you’ve ever experienced times of great stress, doubt, and hopelessness due to life’s circumstances, join me this holiday season and do what Mary did: Believe the things that the Lord has spoken to you and that they will be fulfilled, so you too will be blessed!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you that you love me perfectly, that you’re gracious, compassionate, and know me intimately. Gently remind me this Christmas season of all the promises you’ve given me. Strengthen my faith and my belief in those promises so I can be blessed and continue to experience your blessings. In your name I pray, Amen!
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