The child in me wishes that this festive season lasts forever – I believe many other people share my sentiments, especially if you got gifts like I did. My $20 Macy’s gift card from secret Santa brought me so much joy. As a bargain hunter, I could at least get myself a gift from the clearance section. It is breath taking to see streets beautified and made aglow with resplendent lightening. Joy fills the air as families and friends commune. Generally, people celebrate the year-end with so much pomp and anticipate the New Year with a lot of enthusiasm.
Beyond the flurry of activities that engulf the season and the busyness of enjoyment, I wonder why humans cannot just live ‘happily ever after’, like in the Cinderella story. Sadly, that is a fantasy for most people. For instance, just as some are celebrating and exchanging gifts in “peaceful” parts of the world, other people are experiencing the pangs of war and terror in “turbulent” parts of the world. It is a tough world we live in. The rich today can easily be poor tomorrow, the healthy today can be sick tomorrow. As Job says “We’re all adrift in the same boat: too few days, too many troubles.” (Job 14. 1 MSG).
However, it is not all doom and gloom. In truth, happy times are always here. These happy times are not defined by environmental circumstances and social experiences, but by a singular event that has redefined the entire course of history – Jesus Christ was born, he lived, he died and he rose again (Isaiah 9: 2-7, Matthew 1:21, Matthew 28.5-7, Acts 1:1-3)! Zachariah’s jubilant song in Luke chapter 1, affirms the importance of Jesus’ birth. Luke 1.73-75 is particularly insightful and uplifting “What he swore to our father Abraham—a clean rescue from the enemy camp, So we can worship him without a care in the world, made holy before him as long as we live” (MSG).
Jesus’ solution was eternal in nature (John 10:10, Hebrews 2:10-13). He did not only pay for our sins, but he also gave us the full citizenship rights of heaven and he went further to make a home for us (John 14:2). Though events in this world could be very unpredictable and unsavory, we are not left without a guide, a hope and an assurance of victory (Romans 5: 1-5). Nothing can be done against us and nothing can separate us from his love (Romans 8: 31-39). On this basis we can be happy continually. “Be cheerful no matter what” (1 Thessalonians 5:16 MSG).
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.] (John 16:33 AMP). As we go through this festive season and embrace the New Year, I charge us to embrace this statement of Jesus and run with it at all times.