It’s Christmas time again! You’re probably seeing lots of lights as a reminder that Christ, the light of the world, came to bring hope in our darkest circumstances. 

But what if this time of the year is not a season of hope for you? If that’s the case, you’re not alone: many in our society are sick and others just don’t feel like their life will be better in the next year. Pessimism may be a form of self protection for those of us whose hearts have been broken too many times. But what if there was another option? What if, instead of believing that all things will go wrong, you chose to have different thoughts? 

Here are 4 verses to encourage you, yes you, in dark times. Consider them a special Christmas gift that will help you overcome bitterness and go deeper in your relationship with God: 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

I just want to tell you that God’s plans for you are not bad. God will not invade your life – He gently waits for you to ask Him for help. Have you stopped to have an honest conversation with Him? When Christmas time becomes discouraging, know that you can still go deeper with God and ask him to reveal the plans he has for you. 

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. (Psalm 36: 5)

The reason you can go deeper with God this Christmas is because His love is a love you can count on. And to prove it, he sent his son to earth to live among people like you and I. This truth is actually a pretty huge deal, which you can learn more about in this helpful video, but for now, know this: Parents, friends, and the world will disappoint but God’s love and faithfulness never fail.

This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

One reason why Christmas can be a struggle is because not everybody shares the joy that comes from God’s love. And I’m not just talking about the joy of the season. I’m talking about a permanent happiness that God gives and no one can steal – not even the hard times. When you’re tempted to feel sad, anxious, lonely, or all of the above, remember that this joy is yours if you are his child. 

Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God. (Isaiah 50:10)

If  you feel like there’s no light in your life this Christmas, I suggest you really meditate on this verse. It’s brought me hope and strength. In fact, I think it’s beautiful that the creator of the universe can help us and that we can rely on him. Have you thought of asking God to help you with the burdens you’re currently facing? I encourage you to ask him for help and to be confident that he will act.

This Christmas, perhaps you genuinely want to go deeper with God but you also feel really discouraged. Or perhaps you’re uncertain about your future in the coming year and that’s stressing you out as well. If that’s the case, may these verses (and this encouraging song about highs and lows) remind you that in your darkest moments, Jesus, the light of the world, is worthy of your trust.

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