Overcoming The Holidays
I’ve said goodbye to my Thanksgiving leftovers, pulled out the decorations, and began blasting Mariah and Buble at full tilt.
It’s Christmas-time and the holiday season is in full swing!
Have you noticed that Christmas has become a very in-your-face holiday? It seems like everywhere I look there is red and green, lights, jingle bells, and cheer. There are 24 hour Christmas radio stations, racks of Christmas attire in every store, and enough Hallmark and Netflix original Christmas movies to fill up a whole week.
I love it all, but it can be overwhelming at times. I rush to get presents bought and wrapped, every night there is some kind of party or gift exchange, and before I know it, the season is over in whirlwind of consumerism, calories, and chaos.
When did it become like this? I remember the holidays of my youth were filled more with wonder and amazement than parties and busyness. I don’t remember being so swamped with Christmas stuff that I needed a holiday from the holiday.
Don’t get me wrong, it is all wonderful. I do love every second of it. And yet, it is a lot.
Here on the front end of all the crazy to come, the Lord keeps bringing to mind a passage of scripture in 1 John, specifically a repeated word found throughout the letter.
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4-5
Here, John the Apostle gives us the key for tackling things like the weight of the Christmas season. He says that believers in Jesus overcome the world.
I like this word overcome. When I looked up the original meaning, it provided such incredible synonyms - conquer, prevail, victorious. It reminds me of what it feels like to climb to the top of a difficult summit, pause to see the beautiful vista, and realize what you have accomplished.
And what has overcome the world?
Our faith in Jesus.
Jesus who was born so long ago in a lowly manger, surrounded by so little yet ushered in with a great big love. He whose birth created the holiday season we are entrenched in currently.
He who was born to die for all mankind, so that the world was overcomeable.
Jesus said it best Himself.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The verb tense here is a beautiful thing. Jesus was speaking about something that had already been accomplished, even before His time on earth came to a close.
All the world has to offer each one of us is death. When our Savior chose to leave His Father’s side and come to earth, He knew that His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection would eradicate eternal destruction for those of us that believed in Him.
That is our faith. Wow!
The signs of the holidays may make you giddy, worried, tired, or hopeful. Regardless of the extent of the emotions, our heartfelt response to who Jesus is and what He has done for us should be the fuel to feed the fire of gratitude over the next several weeks.
When I take that to heart and meditate on the birth of my Savior, it puts the Christmas season in a new light. Jesus overcomes this whole world, and I celebrate that every time I hang a stocking or swap a gift.
This overcoming is precious because I can share in it as well, as is written again by John in another book of the Bible.
“And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Revelation 12:10-11
What makes me a conqueror over the enemy and his dominion here on earth?
The blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, AND the word of my testimony.
At this time of year, as I ruminate on the birth of Christ and all that means for mankind, I should also confidently remember my changed life since meeting Him face to face. Proclaiming my story of salvation, how I believe, and and my ever-being-sanctified faith in Jesus then helps me to overcome the world I am surrounded by each day.
Including the holiday season.
When I began to get overwhelmed by or bogged down with all Christmas cheer, I will take a look at Jesus. I will recount His well-lived time here on earth. I will remember all He has done on my behalf.
I will rejoice as I overcome.
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Amy Bufkin has loved Jesus for as long as she can remember. Even though she basically lived at her local church growing up, her faith and relationship with The Lord was incredibly shallow until her early twenties. It was then Amy learned how to study her Bible, began to truly commune with God, and her shallow faith began to deepen as she got to know her Lord and Savior. Now her passion is to communicate the same truths that changed her life to young women in as many ways as possible. You can find her on Instagram | Facebook