I think I’ve found the perfect Bible verse for Christmas.
It’s not your normal verse. Not ‘In the beginning was the Word’ or ‘For God so loved the world’ or ‘For unto us a child is born’, or anything like that.
It’s a different one.
But I think it’s suitable.
It’s this one: Philippians 4:13
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Now this verse has a bit of a bad rap.
People have used this verse to say that they will succeed in their business or pass all their exams. They use it to say that things will go well with them because they’ve told Jesus to ‘make it so’. But that’s not what this verse means.
In his letter, in the lead up to this sentence, Paul says that he’s learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Whether he’s in need, or has plenty, whether he’s well fed or hungry, it doesn’t matter. He knows that he can do all things through God who gives him strength.
Paul has learned that whatever happens, God will be there with him.
Christmas can be very hard for some of us.
Everyone in my family has had conversations in the last few weeks with people for whom Christmas is a really difficult time. People who have difficult family relationships. People who are mourning. People who are lonely.
For some of us, (cough *introverts* cough) Christmas is exhausting just because it is full of people and fun and good times.
Christmas is a time that requires extra strength.
But that’s God’s gift to us. He gives us strength. Strength to the weary.
So whatever you’re doing this Christmas:
- if you’re the one cooking the whole meal for the hordes this Christmas
- or you’re going to eat your mother-in-law’s famous roast
- if you’re surrounded by people
- or doing Christmas day on your own
- if you’re going for three straight days so you can visit all the family
- or if you’re mourning the loss of a loved one
- if you’re still frantically shopping to make sure all the presents are bought
- or if you’ve been organised since July and everyone’s getting a goat from a charity anyway
- if you’re leading the Christmas Eve service, the midnight service, and the service for Christmas day
- or if you’re not going to church at all
- if your Christmas decorations have been up since mid-October
- or you haven’t decorated even one room in your house
Lean on Him who gives you strength. He promises to never leave you. He knows what you’re doing, how you’re just barely coping, or how much you’re giving to others. He will be there for you.
You can do it, you can do all the things, through Him who gives you strength.