Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Christmas 2020: Bringing Comfort in the Midst of Chaos

The year 2020 has not gone according to plan. Concerns about our health, the economy, and our election process have reached a crescendo. Many of the institutions we once trusted are now being called into question. We have not experienced this amount of exponential uncertainty in some time.

It is at this time of widespread uncertainty and fear that Christians have the opportunity to boldly declare their faith. After all, we know that the Lord is in control and holds the future. He is still at work even in the midst of what looks like chaos.

The first Christmas is proof of this. The birth of Christ occurred during a dark period in Israel’s history. The Roman government had taken over with totalitarian rule. Herod, a paranoid puppet king, was on the throne and vanquished any challenge to his authority. Yet it was against this backdrop that God’s plan unfolded.

Looking back, we see that the timing of Christ’s birth was perfect. God used the Roman invasion and occupation of Israel to lay the groundwork for Christ’s ministry and the spread of Christianity. Consider what the Roman occupation brought:

  • A common language, Koine Greek, which would accelerate the communication of the gospel and scripture throughout the world
  • The Pax Romana (Roman Peace) which provided law and order which made it possible for Jesus and his disciples to freely preach and minister in the face of extreme opposition by the religious leaders
  • A system of roads which allowed for Jesus and His disciples/apostles to travel to other locations throughout the empire
  • Tolerance of other religions as long as there was no threat to the Roman government

This is but one example of how the Lord can use what we perceive as adverse circumstances to accomplish His purposes and advance His kingdom.

Knowing that God is in control, even during dark times, should give us hope and peace for the present and future. Not only that, it gives us a firm foundation for which to share the hope that is within us with others who may be struggling to cope with the changing times.

Though the times seem chaotic, God is at work and wants us to join Him. Here are some tips on how to do that:

1. Stay focused on the main thing. Keep the big picture of the Great Commission in mind, making disciples of Jesus Christ. Don’t get distracted or disheartened by all that is going on. Instead of reaching for your cell phone when you wake up to catch up on social media, reach for your Bible. Instead of investing an hour of watching CNN or FOX News, invest in time in God’s word. Keeping your eyes on the Lord will help you maintain perspective and keep the main thing the main thing.

2. Pray. Nothing helps us navigate life better than prayer. Prayer is not just bringing our requests to God; it is coming before the Lord in worship and listening to Him. He is at work in the hearts and lives of people around us and wants us to join Him in that work, including sharing the gospel. We need to maintain clear communication with the Lord so that we may be alert to the opportunities He provides us to share our faith.

3.  Trust and obey. As a part of your prayer time each morning and during the day, make it a point to avail yourself to God. God’s plan is unfolding in our chaotic culture, but it unfolds through the faith and actions of His servants who are committed to obeying Him regardless of the cost.

In one of the darkest hours in Israel’s history, God sent the light of Jesus Christ into the world. In the same way, He is sending us to light the way for others during these challenging times. I pray that the Lord will provide you with abundant opportunities and boldness to share the hope and comfort that only the gospel can bring.

Copyright © 2020 David Souther, used with permission.

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