Christmas is a time of joy and thanksgiving, but not for everyone. Amid the colored lights and wrapped presents there are hearts that are as empty as the open gift boxes under the tree on Christmas morning. Christmas brings good memories but also the hard ones of broken dreams and relationships.
When we are struggling, it is tempting to ask where is the joy in life?
David asked these same questions long ago. He wanted to know why God had abandoned him. He wanted to know why his prayers were not answered. He cried out to ask why God does not answer his pleas. So he writes these words in Psalm 22:
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far from my deliverance
and from my words of groaning?
My God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
by night, yet I have no rest.
At Christmas, so many echo these words of hopelessness. Where has God and his faithfulness gone? Why am I left alone to cry in silence and loneliness? In life’s dark valleys the Holy Spirit draws you close to remember that even in hard, alone moments, the praise of God is our hope and place of safety.
But you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
David remembered that the praise of God established Israel and kept the nation’s focus on the faithfulness of God – our true hope in life. He remembered that praising God puts our circumstances in the clearest light.
David reminds us that our true hope in both the joys and sorrows of Christmas is the faithfulness of God. So the psalm continues:
Our fathers trusted in you;
they trusted, and you rescued them.
They cried to you and were set free;
they trusted in you and were not disgraced.
Hope is defined by trusting God and not in life’s mess. He hears your cries. He will rescue you and your hope will be realized.
Hope in Christ! May your Christmas be blessed.