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Monday, December 19, 2011

Good Times, Hard Times

Christmas is great.  Christmas is hard.  There are a great number of people who struggle during this time of year.  It is especially hard for those who have recently lost loved ones, but as you can read in this article, that is not the only reason.  One that caught my attention was the need to produce.  Inability to give the presents one wants to can produce feelings of failure and cause one to spin into despair; a feeling that there is no way out.

This morning I hit a series of passages that both challenged and reminded me of one of the core elements of faith.  Isaiah 33:13 is a really succinct summary of the Gospel.  It covers all people.  For those of us who are near we are commanded to acknowledge His might.  What does that look like?  In Romans 4:21 we read that the fact that Abraham acknowledged God’s might was why he was credited with righteousness.  In Luke 1:15 – 25 the situation with Zacharias closely parallels Abraham’s.  Both had wives past the age of child bearing.  Both were promised children.  Abraham believed.  Zacharias questioned and was struck dumb until he acknowledged God’s might.  In both cases the ability of God to do the impossible was announced in Abraham’s case by the Lord, Genesis 18:14, and in Zacharias case to Mary by Gabriel, Luke 1:37.

Do you ever feel like that you have dug a hole so deep that you cannot get out?  Or that you have messed up so bad that God cannot fix it?  Remember the announcement to Abraham and Zacharias; nothing is too difficult for God.  Then follow the advice of Peter and cast all of your cares on Him, 1 Peter 5:6 – 7.  Be alert this season for those around you who may be struggling, in the spirit of Isaiah 33:13, help them hear what God has done.