Christmas is truly the “most wonderful time of the year.” However, for many it can be the most emotional or most regretful time of the year because they’ve lost loved ones or friends, lost a job, had health challenges, financial struggles, troubles with their spouse or kids — the list is endless.
The CHRIST of CHRISTmas said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Sometimes we face situations and circumstances in our lives that make us feel as if there is no hope for us. But JESUS says, “Take heart! There’s hope!”
That’s been our theme for the entire month of December: The HOPE of CHRISTMAS!
It’s not a Christmas story but maybe this story will encourage you ...
J.C. Penney opened his chain of “The Golden Rule” stores in 1907. Three years later, his first wife died. In 1913, he incorporated as the J.C. Penney Company. In 1923, his second wife died giving birth to their son and six years later, in 1929, the stock marked crashed and he lost millions.
By 1932, J. C. Penney had sold almost everything he had to satisfy creditors and was financially and emotionally broken. Devastated and crushed by the circumstances surrounding him and due to failing health, he wound up in a sanitorium in Battle Creek, Michigan. One morning, he overheard the singing of employees who’d gathered to start the day with God. The song they were singing was, “God Will Take Care of You.” He heard these lines: “Be not dismayed, whate’er betide, God will take care of you …” J.C. walked closer to the singing and sat in the back listening.
A short time later, J.C. Penney left the sanitorium a changed man. At the age of 56, he began the climb back to the top. By 1951, there was a J.C. Penney store in every state and sales surpassed the $1 billion mark.
You’ve heard the old saying, “A penny for your thoughts.” Next time you start thinking about how bad things are in your life, think of J.C. Penney and remember the words of JESUS, “Take heart! There’s hope!”
Sometimes we face situations and circumstances in our lives that make us feel as if there is no hope for us. But JESUS says, “Take heart! There’s hope!”
Psalm 147:11 says, “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”
My prayer is, because of JESUS and the hope we have in Him, you can have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!
© 2019. Barry L. Cameron
[I want to invite you to join us at CROSSROADS this Sunday at 8:45, 10:00, 11:30 a.m. or 5:00 p.m. AND on CHRISTMAS EVE at 3:00, 4:30 or 6:00 p.m. You’ll leave filled with HOPE!]
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.