REJOICING IN THE GLOOM

kathylarkman,

Silhouetted women holding hands
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Hannah Spruijt, contributor of today’s post

I’ll be honest, I am not a big fan of this time of the year. The endless grey dreariness gets me down, and I don’t much like going out in the cold. The bright twinkly lights of Christmas feel far in the past, despite January having only just begun! However, it struck me this week, that despite my ‘poor me’ feelings, the message of Christmas is still well and truly here if I would just focus my heart on it.
As I was reading Titus 2, verse 11 stood out to me; “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people” (NLT). My first thought was Christmas! Jesus, our salvation bringer, revealed to us by piercing the darkness of a cold night in Bethlehem. The Christmas message that warms my heart as I ponder on it through December, is STILL there to be found in gloomy January!
We are reading through the New Testament in a year with our life group this year; one chapter a day. Yesterday whilst reading Matthew 2, verse 10 spoke to my heart. “When they (the Magi) saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (ESV). The Magi, who had travelled SO far and for SO long must have indeed been thrilled by the sight of the star leading them to their final destination. And yet they didn’t even know the full story that we know now… How that baby-King would one day die a cruel death on a cross, bearing the punishment of the sins of all people in order to bring them back into a right relationship with the Father God. How that baby-King would triumph over death, making the hope of eternity with him a possibility for those who would believe and trust in him. And how that baby-King will one day come again, not as a baby but as majestic Ruler of All, bringing justice and ushering in his kingdom. But WE KNOW! As Paul said to Titus, the grace of God has been REVEALED! It has been enough to make my heart rejoice all over again. And when I am tempted to (or give in to) despair and gloom, I have made it my arrow-prayer to say “Father I choose to rejoice right now that…” and fill the blank with truths like:
You have revealed Jesus to us
Jesus has brought salvation to messed-up me
I am loved by the Creator of the universe
I am redeemed
I am being sanctified (made holy)
I will one day be with you forever…
Titus is full of truths I am able to use to fight back against the gloom! I pray that you too will be able to rejoice in the amazing truth that Titus 2:11 shows us; the grace of God has been revealed! Choose to fix your eyes on Jesus, our salvation-bringer, today and every day.