Sunday, December 25, 2011

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you"... "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire." 1 Peter 5:10 and 2 Peter 1:3-4
Today is Christmas and many throughout the world are celebrating with great joy and rich blessings. But there a greater number who have very little temporal reason to celebrate. They may be without homes, jobs, families or health. Their suffering overwhelms them at a time when happiness and fulfillment warms the hearts of others. Is there really any Christmas hope?
The believers of Peter's time suffered a great deal. They often lost homes, jobs, families and health because of their faith in Jesus. Days of temporal joy and blessings were few and far between. How did the Christian faith survive in such circumstances? The knowledge that "the God of all grace" would "restore, confirm, strengthen and establish" them kept the fire burning in their hearts. The fact that He granted to them "His precious and very great promises" filled their hearts to overflowing. They celebrated a very real Christmas hope.
As you reflect on the manger today my friend, I pray that you will find rest in "the God of all grace" whose "divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness". You may not have the abundance of temporal wealth that others rejoice in, but you have "eternal glory in Christ". You know that the story isn't over and in the end the Lord will establish you, and that is real Christmas hope. Have a blessed Christmas my friend.

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