Are you wondering where to find God? Or how to connect with Him on a deeper level?
The Christmas holidays bring up a mixture of emotions for us all. Maybe you wholeheartedly embrace the festive season and find yourself feeling your most joyful. Or, maybe the opposite. Perhaps Christmas is a time of mourning or grief for you.
Rest assured, whatever emotions the festive period triggers in you, you can journey it with God.
A Time For Reflection
Falling as it does at the end of the year, Christmas is a brilliant opportunity to review your life and take stock.
Do you feel like there’s something missing from your life? It’s normal to feel frustrated with God if you reach Christmas feeling worn down after a tough year.
Here we’ll share advice on processing disappointment and finding joy again.
Finding God This Christmas, No Matter How You’re Feeling
If you find Christmas to be a seriously emotional time, then you are not alone. Christmas is, without a doubt, a time to be joyful and thankful. But we’ll be the first to admit that joy and gratitude so often get swallowed up by stress. Or, by complex family relationships.
Thankfully we serve a God who gets it. He really, really gets it.
The Bible has a lot to say about embracing joy and living joyfully even in hard times. When you understand how much Jesus faced and sacrificed, you realise how powerful this teaching is.
One of the most challenging parts of scripture addressing joy is found in James 1. The first verse says: “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of any kind.”
Just let that sink in.
We serve a God who makes joy in every season possible. Joy, no matter what we’re facing, possible. Why? Because we can trust that in the hardest of times He is working in us, making us more like Him.
Remember that God is with you. In your messes and your triumphs. In your joy and in your grief. Our God is not remote or removed, He invites us to live in intimate relationship with Him.
Where To Find God For The First Time
If you’d like to say yes to God’s incredible invitation to live intimately with Him, then here are some great places to start.
Talk to a friend
Do you know someone who’s a regular church goer? Maybe it’s the friend who’s always offering to pray for you?
The best way to discover what faith really looks like is through friendship with a Christian. As you open up to your friends and find someone you can be vulnerable with, you get to have real, honest conversations about being a Christian.
Read The Word
There are lots of books you can read that will give you an introduction to Christianity but the most important thing to read is the Bible. Diving into Scripture really is the best place to start. And, it doesn’t have to be bookish or boring either.
Try reading The Message version. This version of the Bible, translated by Eugene Peterson, transforms the ancient languages of the Old and New Testaments into modern day, passionate English.
God is desperate to talk to you. One-on-one. He is interested in your thoughts, your words and your feelings. Starting to listen to His voice in you is the best way to get to know God and begin your journey as a Christian.
If you’re wondering what God’s voice sounds like, here are two simple guides. Firstly, His voice sounds like Scripture. The more you know the Bible, the more you’ll recognise the same voice in you.
Secondly, God’s voice will always bring good fruit. His voice can feel peaceful amongst other anxious thoughts. Or, it can feel brave amongst other fearful thoughts.
Releasing Your Disappointment With God This Christmas
We face so much that causes us pain in this life. It’s easy to wonder where you can find God when you’re facing a really tough time. Remember, we were created to live in oneship with God, in a glorious garden, free from pain.
It can help to remember that we weren’t actually designed to live in this world as it is today. It’s no wonder it hurts, it wounds.
We live in confidence and hopefully expectation that we will be restored to living free from pain with God again.
Until then though, releasing our hurt and disappointment to God has to be a regular part of our discipline as a Christian.
This year has been really hard. You know my pain, You know what I’ve been through.
I’m finding it hard to even think about celebrating Christmas after the last 12 months.
God, I know that You are good and yet it seems like I’ve seen so little of Your goodness this year.
I ask You, God, to come and be my comforter as never before.
Help me to release my disappointment in You, I know it will only hurt me.
God, I state again that I believe You are good. Help to me see from Your perspective. Help me to see Your purpose in the pain I live through.
Bring a breakthrough of joy and comfort in my life God.
Rooting Your Holiday Celebrations In God
Why not lay down an invitation to God this Christmas season?
Take a moment, before the busyness really sets in, to pray and ask Him to show up in fresh and powerful ways in your life.
“God, I want to know You better.
Christmas is a brilliant opportunity for me to learn more about You and Your son but so often it gets filled up with other things.
I want this year to be different, Father. As the year draws to a close, God, I want to take stock with You and invite You to shape my future steps.
Will You show up this Christmas in a way that I’ve never experienced before?
I want to go deeper with You, God. To say yes to Your invitation to a life of intimacy with You.
Draw me closer, God, and show me, this holiday, what is really means to be Your child.
Make sure you carve out time for God this festive season too. Praying that prayer is a brilliant start and a powerful statement of intent to go deeper with God. The next step is to make sure you listen out for Him.