Throughout history there have always been those who said that history has no meaning, no direction, no purpose. It's just an endless cycle of random, meaningless events. There's no shortage of those who believe that today. Christmas teaches the opposite. So does the second coming. They teach us that God has not abandoned us. He is not ignoring us. He has a plan and a purpose and he's inviting us to get plugged in to it.

You may think that the world is spinning out of control right now due to the circumstances around you. But God has not abandoned us. He's still in control. In his time, he will intervene again in history, as he did on that first Christmas day. Maybe you're struggling financially, maybe there's trouble at home, maybe you're uncertain of what the future holds, and you may think that your life is just a random series of chaotic events but Christmas is a reminder, and the promise of the second coming is a reminder that God has not abandoned you. No matter how things may appear on the surface right now, the truth is that God is in control. He's in control of history — yesterday, today and tomorrow — and that means he's in control of the circumstances in your life. In the Bible he has promised that he will never leave you or forsake you that he will watch over you and take care of you and he will carry through the difficult situations we all must endure from time to time. These are his promises, they're in his word. And in Luke 21:33 Jesus reminds us that, “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.”

There are some of you who approach the coming season with a sense of dread. Maybe it's because you know you will be alone at Christmas, and you don't want that. Maybe it's because you know that you will be broke this month, and you don't like that. Maybe it's because you know there will be too many demands on your time, too much stress in the household, too many expectations to meet. And you think, just like that old tear-jerker country song that Merle Haggard used to sing, "If I can just make it through December, I'll be fine."

There's a better way to approach the Christmas season — a way that leads to victory and joy. There is a way that leads to power and hope and expectation. Even if there are some things about this season that aren't perfect — why am I saying 'if'? Of course there will be things about this season that won't be perfect — but, in spite of this, if you'll adjust your attitude just a little bit, if you'll tweak your way of thinking, you pave the way for a truly blessed holiday season.

Therefore, as you go through tough times, don't keep your eyes focused on all that's going on around you. Keep looking up. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Lift up your head, because your redemption is drawing near. As you face tough times, even as you face the stress of coming weeks, take hold of your heart. Guard it. Don't let anything come between you and your commitment to Christ. Not parties, not drinking, not shopping, not nothing. Keep your heart set on him. And as you continue to face life's ups and downs, pray for strength to endure whatever comes your way. Pray for the chance to be counted worthy to stand before Christ, and hear him say, "Well done."


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