Dispelling the Holiday Blues
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” (Psalm 103:2 NIV)
Beginning with Thanksgiving and on through the New Year, the holidays are a busy time, with lots of activity and happy moments. But the festivities can highlight our problems and heartaches as well; and even believers can end up with the holiday blues. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one and the celebrations at this time of year only serve to remind you that your loved one is not here. The bottom line is that a lot of stuff can happen in life; and if we meditate on that, it will pull us down to the depths of despair.
Do you know that we have a choice today? We can choose to dwell on the negatives, or we can choose to praise God for all of his benefits. We can thank God for the gift of our Savior (which is the reason for celebrating Christmas in the first place); for giving his Son to die in our place; for forgiving our sins; for the gift of eternal life; and for the blessed hope we have of being reunited with loved ones who have gone on to heaven before us. That’s not counting everything else he gives to us, because every good gift comes from above. And while it's true that even Christians go through difficulties on this side of eternity, we need to remember that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that he’s greater than the mountains in our lives; therefore, every day is a day when we can give our challenges to the Lord and begin to count our blessings instead of our problems and our sorrows.
Perhaps you are going through a difficult time, and it’s an even greater distraction to you at this time of year when the tinsel and the lights can seem to form a contrast with the way you are feeling. If so, why don’t you pray right now: “God, you know what I am going through. I love you, but I feel sadness today, and you know the reason why. Help me, Lord, to cast my care upon you; and then help me to forget none of your benefits! Thank you for salvation, for being a God who hears and answers prayer, for being a friend who sticks closer than a brother, and for sending the Holy Spirit to be my Counselor, my Advocate, and my Comforter!” Then choose to praise the Lord today, even through tears. As you bless the Lord and glorify his name, he will manifest his presence in your life, and this time of year will become a time of rejoicing in the true meaning of the season.
Read Psalm 103:1-5.