Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love decorating for Christmas! On Wednesday, friends were over for a luncheon and some were surprised my decorations were still up – maybe they know me even better now! I rarely take them down before mid-January and many stay up until I get tired of winter (I love winter, by the way).
“When did you start decorating?”
“How long did it take you?”
“Does everything go downstairs in storage?” they asked.
Looking at the Christmas cards I received and thinking it might be time to put them away, I read the lovely greetings from family and friends. Four words in particular stood out to me. While they were greetings especially for the Christmas season, I realized they were blessings we should share with each other all year round.
Love – I’m asking God to create in me a deeper love for Him this year; the kind of love that causes me to crave more meaningful time spent with Him; love that will spill over into my relationships with my husband and family; love which nurtures existing friendships and initiates new ones; love that radiates from a heart devoted to pleasing God; love that readily shares the comfort which God extends to me.
“May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.” (Psalm 119:76)
Joy – I’m thankful for the joy God brought back into my life last year. I desire for Him to increase my joy, not only in times of happiness and tranquility, but also in the midst of disappointment and hardship; joy that bursts out in jubilant song; joy that bubbles over in praise of my Creator; joy that testifies to the grace of God in my life.
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11)
Peace– I have experienced peace in the past several months that I have never known before. I am learning to trust Him more completely and I look forward to a year where God continues to teach me how to rest and be at peace; the peace that surpasses all human understanding; peace that defies reason; peace the world longs for.
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way.” (II Thessalonians 3:16)
Hope– I am grateful for the hope I have in spending eternity with my Lord and Saviour. Eternity was a word that used to fill my youthful heart with fear, as I could not comprehend the concept of forever. God’s promise to never leave me or forsake me replaced that fear with hope; hope of seeing Jesus face-to-face; hope of being reunited with my sister, aunt, other relatives and friends; hope that even if my physical body dies before Christ’s return my spirit will live forever in Heaven.
“Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.” (Psalm 119:49)
I pray these blessings upon each of you in the year 2014!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace (and love) as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Until next time,
**All Scriptures from the New International Version