Maybe you have felt great despair this year because of the passing of a loved one; your mom, your dad, your sister or your brother.
Maybe you felt despair because things seem so uncertain because a spouse lost their job, unexpected medical bills were incurred, or money was tight.
Maybe you felt despair because you just couldn’t afford something you needed or wanted or even because you couldn’t provide for those you love.
Or still maybe yet, you felt despair because your sin seemed over your head. Simply put, I bet all of us have felt “needy” in 2016.
But God, being rich in mercy and steadfast love with which He so loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses and utterly lost and hopelessly needy, made us alive together with Christ – by grace we have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5, paraphrase mine)
As 2016 comes to a close, may we remember and be reminded that the neediness, the loneliness, and the despair that we all have, has been swallowed up with hope, because of the coming of Jesus.
Zechariah 2:10-11 says, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD. And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.”
Beloved, our great, covenant keeping God sent his grace at Christmas to fill our deepest longing, to calm our most anxious fear, and to redeem us from our weakness in sin. This grace came in the form of a suffering savior. When our hearts are faint, He leads us to the rock and He is our strong tower, our ever present help, and our refuge in a time of trouble.
We feel needy, but Christ has satisfied our need…
How could we not have all that we need when our Savior has promised not to withhold any good thing from us and then sealed that promise at the cross? Oh, you whose heart has felt despair in 2016 – trust in Yahweh. Look to Christ.
Don’t doubt the goodness and sufficiency of God, because we tend to run from those people and things that we doubt. Instead, know that a Savior was born at Christmas to fill our deepest need.
Paul David Tripp writes about shaking despair, worry, doubt and neediness in his book New Morning Mercies:
“You quit worrying and are freed to give yourself to the work of God’s kingdom when: you are convinced that God will give you the strength you need to face whatever he has ordained you to face (“I can do all things through him who strengthens me”) and you really do believe that God is actively committed to meeting every one of your true needs (“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus”).
When grace causes your heart to rest in these truths, you no longer live a need-obsessed, worry-obsessed or a despairing life but are freed to give yourself to the worship and service of God. We have a God that is actively pursuing us, lovingly wooing us, and passionately redeeming us. Let’s celebrate Him this Christmas.
Shane and Shane sing in their song “Love Comes Down” –
I brought you all my foolish crowns, with trembling hands I laid them down. Expecting wrath to be poured out, but you placed mercy on my brow. Still my best is nothing less, than filthy rags and emptiness. One drop of blood raised me from death and now you see me through your righteousness. Oh how sweet amazing grace, which wrapped me in a warm embrace. Oh my soul rejoices, I was lost, and now I’m found. All of my praise goes up to the Lord as His love comes down.
Because we have experienced such freedom, grace, and comfort through the Gospel of our King, our chief aim and mission becomes seeing the Gospel of King Jesus spread to our community, to our nation, and then to the uttermost parts of the world.
Acts 4:19-20 says, “But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
Has the Lord burdened you to show His grace and disciple His Gospel into the life of a vulnerable child? Or has the Lord burdened you with his command in James 1:27 to care for orphans in distress? If so, partner with Lifeline today. Visit LifelineChild.org to donate to the cause or to learn more about getting engaged.
Oh beloved, will you allow God to use his grace and Gospel through you to impact the life of a child? Please do not hesitate to give Lifeline a call because we are here…