Luke 2:8 – Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. (Verse 9) And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. (Verse 10) Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
(Verse 11) “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Verse 12) “And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.” (Verse 13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: (Verse 14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
The main focus of Jesus’ birth was “Peace on Earth!” But at the celebration of Christ’s birth, do you have peace on your earth? At Christmas time, are you going through a struggle of some type? The struggles don’t stop just because it’s Christmas time. This is a very sad fact: The suicide rate is higher at Christmas than at any other time of year. And yet it’s supposed to be the most joyful time.
There might be some very good reasons for this: There are some things that the enemy capitalizes on at Christmas time that he doesn’t do any other time of year.
One of the things that happen at Christmas time is we remember a loved one that is no longer with us and we miss them terribly. When families gather, the thought of the loved ones comes to mind and we wish they were there. Almost everyone goes through this.
However, if we think about what Mary went through, it wasn’t that great either. Her first Baby was born in a feeding trough, and she only had Joseph with her. As a matter of fact, she had probably been rejected by her family and friends because of her pregnancy outside of being married. Would you have believed her story?
No one’s life is perfect, but somehow we think that it is and some can’t see how others can be happy at Christmas if they aren’t. But we can have peace and joy on our earth because Jesus came! He’s the Prince of peace even if everything in our world is not perfect. Even if there’s not peace around us, we can have peace in our hearts in the presence of God!
Psalm 42:1 – As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. As a deer “longs” for water, my soul “longs” for You. There’s only one time that deers pant and that’s when they have been chased by an enemy. A deer can run extremely fast, but they use up their water resources quickly. If they don’t get to water quickly after they have been chased, they will die.
David wrote this Psalm when his son Absolem was pursuing him. So here is what David was saying: In the same way that a deer needs water when He’s being chased, “I need You, God, desperately!”
1) Recognize We Are In A Battle
Psalm 42:3 – My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” Has anyone ever asked you that? The people that don’t know Him will say, “Where was your God when so and so died?” or “Where was God when this happened?”
Psalm 42:10 – As with a breaking of my bones, my enemies reproach me, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” The enemy in David’s life was in the natural, but in our lives, it is “spiritual.”
As Christians, we wrestle against principalities and powers, not flesh and blood. Satan never takes a break, even at Christmas! Satan will even take the death of a loved one and torment us with it. We have got to rebuke the enemy in our spirit. Tell the enemy, “I don’t receive that! Go in Jesus’ name!”
Satan will try to get in our thought all day long. He puts evil thoughts in our minds to get us in a depressed state or an angry state. Those thoughts to harm ourselves or others “Does not come from God!” Satan said it to you, so rebuke him in Jesus’ name.
We have to learn to recognize that the battle is real and so is the devil. His demons are real and they really do hate us and they really do want to steal our joy and even kill us! And recognize this battle is spiritual. It may manifest in the physical, mental, or emotional state, but it is spiritual. Because it is spiritual, the battle can only be won in the spiritual. It cannot be won by taking a pill! Yes, you can treat symptoms in the physical, but if you want to get to the root of the problem, it has to be done spiritually. There needs to be inner healing.
We have an opioid epidemic problem in this country right now and it’s because people don’t want to get to the root of their anxiety. Most just want to take a pill that makes them not care anymore.
Recognize that the battle is real, but the enemy’s weapons are a lie. Satan comes against us with lies. We have to know our God and know His Word. So when those thoughts come, determine whether or not it’s the enemy speaking and if it is, then rebuke him. Always remember: The enemy is so good at lying that he will produce evidence that it’s true. Don’t forget what Joseph’s brothers did when they showed Jacob the coat of many colors with blood on it. It caused Jacob to believe that Joseph was dead for a very long time.
Satan will also quote Scripture to you. This may shock some, but Satan knows the Scriptures better than we do and knows just how to use it to get us to doubt God. He quoted it to Jesus. However, that didn’t go so well for him. He won’t miss quote it, but he’ll always miss apply it!
2) Stop Listening To Yourself
If a person is depressed, they shouldn’t take advice from themselves. Psalm 42:4 – When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
So what did David pour out? His thoughts; his desires; his feelings. He poured out his soul, his self! When someone is down and depressed, their soul is going to tell them how they feel about it. Don’t let the devil tell you how to feel about something. When I say stop listening to your self, stop listening to the devil telling you how you should feel about the situation. We should learn to process things through our spirit, not our soul.
3) Yes, Talk to Your Spirit
Stop listening to your soul and start “talking” to your soul, your mind, will, and emotions. Have your spirit talk to your soul! Psalm 42:5 – Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. David is talking to his soul. David actually asks his soul, “Why are you cast down?” Why was David’s soul depressed? The word “depressed” means “pushed down.” Who is pushing you down when you are depressed? The devil!
In other words, David asks his soul: Why are you growling like a bear? Just as our stomach growls when it wants to be gratified with food when we are hungry, so the soul growls when it wants what it wants – to be gratified! It murmurs and it complains. David told his soul to “Be quiet!”
Our spirit must rule over the soul. When David starts writing this Psalm he’s listening to his soul. Then about halfway through, he says, “Wait a minute! Soul, be quiet!” Then his spirit starts telling his soul, “Hope in God!”
Christ knows what we go through because if you are HIs, He will never leave you! He knows those memories of our lost loved ones will come at Christmas time. But try to flood your thoughts with: “This is Christ’s Day, the day He was born!”
Don’t take Christ out of Christmas. After all, it was the greatest gift the Father ever gave to the world. Keep Jesus in your Christmas and you will have Peaace on your earth!