Fresh Hope – 2nd December 2020

Christmas is coming! Christmas at its essence is a celebration of the hope, joy and peace found in Jesus. 

Ironically, for many it is the exact opposite of joyful and peaceful. The season can become a stressful flurry of functions, blowing budgets, navigating busy shopping centres, and attempting to orchestrate family gatherings. It can be stressful! 

Stress is actually a modern day word for fear and pressure. Let me find your greatest stress points, and I will probably find your greatest fears. 

Stress will do the following if you let it: 

1. Compromise your health. 
2. Increase your irritability and anger. 

3. Hinder your ability to hear from God. 

4. Cause you to lose perspective about what Christmas is really all about.

 5. Impact your connection with others. 

The purpose of Christmas should be literally the opposite of the above:

 1. It should be a time for your body and soul to rest, relax and get refreshed. 

2. It should be a season of rekindled joy in Jesus. 

3. It should be a time to hear from God and find fresh hope. 

4. You should be able to maintain focus on the reason for the season.

 5. It should be a time of connecting with others on a deeper level. 

Stress is far from what God intends this up and coming season to be about. In fact, God invites you to step into new levels of hope, peace and joy this season! 

Can I encourage all of us, to not just accept the culturally normal ‘stress’ of the season and to choose a better way? Protect yourself from stress. Eliminate anything that robs you from the true meaning of Christmas.

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.