Christmas Confidence 2005

By Ron Woodworth

 For all of us who take ourselves too seriously…

Even if you’ve heard this before–Read this slowly, out loud, and let yourself laughJ–or at least chuckle.

What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?
“It’s Christmas, Eve”

What do you call a polar bear wearing ear muffs?

Anything you want, he can’t hear you!

The Four Stages of Life:

  1. You believe in Santa Claus–children
  2. You don’t believe in Santa Claus–teenagers
  3. You are Santa Claus–adults
  4. You look like Santa Claus–grandparents

This Christmas season should be a time of laughter, joy and celebration. After all the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). And, while it is true that happiness and laughter are generally circumstantial—that is based on how things are going at the moment…the joy of the Lord is an abiding assurance of God’s goodness in our lives based on his unchangeable promise—

“All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

As a result, though our outward circumstances, reflected in how happy we feel, can change moment by moment–we have an internal (and eternal) foundation upon which to base our tenaciously hopeful outlook in life.  That’s a good statement to repeat: The righteous should have a tenaciously hopeful outlook in life!

This is not some kind of positive mental attitude (PMA) hyped up by marketing gurus who are out to make money by preying on people’s unhappiness. “If you come to my conference or buy my books, audio or video tapes you will be rich in no time—and with hardly any effort!” Sadly, this sounds like some TV and radio preachers who hype up the emotions of unhappy people by promising them instant blessings if they just give money to these false prophets (2 Peter 2:3).

The greatest need of unhappy people is not simply to change their outward circumstances, but to teach them to place their faith in God who promised to never leave them nor forsake them…

“Keep your lives free from the love of money–being content with what you have, because God has promised, ‘I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid—no matter what men may try to do to me!’” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Notice how the cultivated awareness of God’s presence is the basis of our confidence in the midst of the trials of life. My friend, do you and I have such confidence? If not, then perhaps our present trials are an opportunity to exercise our faith in the face of fear. And where better to exercise your faith then against your fears? In fact, maybe one of God’s main goals in our lives is to free us from the spirit of fear so that our emotions are continually tempered by unflinching trust.

May you be blessed with a joyful Christmas as you tenaciously trust his promise for goodness in your life!