I just got off the phone with a wonderful friend who shared she was on her way to the post office to mail a little Christmas cheer. I congratulated her for donning her Santa hat even though she wanted to play Scrooge. You see, the package wrapped with love and warm wishes is going to a very cold home. We chatted about how sometimes you have to faith it until you feel it at Christmastime.
Maybe you can relate? Are you dreading Christmas day because the Grinch who stole your joy is going to be sitting at your table? Perhaps like me you would rather just skip Christmas and take the Polar Express to Acapulco instead.
Y’all, sometimes Christmas is hard.
I’ve spent this week praying for God to help me deck the halls of my heart to welcome others in this December. Because I don’t think Jesus cares if my stockings are all hung by the fire with care—He wants my heart to hold forth His love to the hurting.
I am praying for Jesus to help me sweep out all the dark corners and hallways of my heart where bitterness and unforgiveness are cluttering up the atmosphere. How about you? In case you are feeling the Christmas blues like me, I wanted to share a few ideas on how we can liven up our heart for the holidays.
How to Deck the Halls of Your Heart for Christmas
Light up with Wisdom
As we apply God’s Word to our hearts, He will give us the words we need to say (and not say) to our pesky loved ones this year. Spend time soaking in Scripture and praying for each family gathering. Ask Him to shine brightly through you.
“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (II Corinthians 4:5-10, NIV)
Adorn with Faithfulness
God loves us even though we are wrapped up in selfishness and covered in the blackest sin. His love for us never quits — even when we push Him away. If you are finding it hard to love someone during this holiday season, spend some time focusing on how faithfully God loves you. Let His love fill up all the crevices in your heart and remind you just how free you are to extend His love when no one returns the favor. Remember His love is a gift you are stewarding, not hoarding.
(I may need to read that again next week several times. Jesus, help me.)
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3-4)
Spread His Sparkle
During December, set aside your sugar-coated expectations and surrender to whatever God has for you and your family. Your Christmas might not be Pinterest perfect, but His Providential purposes will be at work. Make time each day to worship Him for the wonderful gift of salvation, and remember He’s not finished yet. This Christmas is not the last page of the story.
“I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (Psalm 34:1-5)
So, how do we get started? For the next 10 days, I want to encourage you to begin your day by surrendering your heart to God’s plans for your Christmas by echoing the prayer of Mary in Luke 1:38 (NET):
I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to Your word.
I’ve created a free printable prayer graphic just for you as a visual reminder. Sign up today as a member of the Wildfire Faith Community and grab a copy in our Faith Fuel Library.
As God fills up our hearts, we will radiate His love to the watching world. His Word will light our path and help us take courageous steps to share Jesus with our difficult people. We can tear down those strongholds of bitterness holding us back and invite God to replace brokenness with beauty.
Let’s dust away old hurts and decorate our hearts with love this Christmas.
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