At Christmas we celebrate the birth into the world of Jesus. No-one in history has brought more hope to more people.
The Gospel accounts reveal an extraordinary man, who connected with people from all parts of society. He challenged those who used religion to bind people up with guilt. The message of his life and death, and resurrection has paved the way for new hope for billions of people. Even those who have made the worst mess of their lives receive hope of a new start. Individuals and families who build their lives on the words of Jesus will find a solid foundation for a strong life.
What helps me to build and maintain hope in the midst of the pressures and stresses of 21st century life?
- A foundation of faith. Even when facing a cancer diagnosis from my Urologist my faith held me and kept me hopeful. This enabled me to seek a 2nd opinion and source alternate options for dealing with the cancer which have proved successful almost 2 years later.
- A positive attitude. I work hard on my mental state to make sure I stay positive. I’m careful what I listen to, who I mix with and who I allow to influence me. It is very difficult to be successful with a negative attitude.
- Be grateful. I focus on being grateful for what I have rather than frustrated about what I may be missing out on. This is a mindset I practice every day that fuels hope.
- Mix with good people. Some people can drag you down. It is crucial to intentionally build relationships with positive people who lift you.
- Guard my heart. Solomon encouraged us to guard our heart for from the heart springs all the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23). By heart he meant the inner seat of emotions. It is vital to make sure you do not allow anger or bitterness or anything destructive to get into your heart. Learning how to forgive others, and to process disappointment and regret is vital to be someone who maintains hope.
However you celebrate Christmas my prayer is you experience the HOPE that comes into this world through Jesus. Check out The Chosen which is a recent TV series about the life of Jesus. It presents him in a way that is consistent with the Bible account and highly relatable today.
With love from my home to yours this Christmas.