Job 19:25-27 says…
I know that my redeemer[c] lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.[d]
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet[e] in[f] my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
I cannot fathom the suffering that Job went through. The physical, emotional and spiritual dispare that he suffered is simply beyond my comprehension. Yet…through it all, he clings to his hope in his redeemer.
Tonight’s post is a simple prayer for all who will be suffering this Christmas. The single mom who is working two jobs and still can’t afford to heat her home, The single dad who is fighting the loneliness of nurchering and raising a family by himself. The children who lost their dad to illness. The elderly man who can’t get a job and doesn’t know when and if he will be without a home in the days and weeks to come. The pastor of a new church who is struggling to keep his family on the right path as he steps out to be faithful to God’s call on his life. The child who just lost their parent to AIDS. The terrified victim of modern day human trafficking. The list goes on and on.
At the risk of being presumptuous, some of you reading this post might be thinking, “Wow Mike…Way to bum me out at Christmas man.” The truth is that at this moment, as I write this post in relative comfort and in the relative warmth and saftety of my home, countless souls are suffering through unimaginable trials. What amazes me is the number of people I have met over the years who suffer terribly but continue to have that same hope that Job displayed in 19:25-27. Candidly, it puts me to shame. How many times today did I have the audacity to complain about something. The only comfort I have in this is to know that Christ’s Grace is sufficient for me, (2 Corinthians 12:9) and I know that I am not alone.
With all of this in mind. My prayer this Christmas is…
1. …for all those who know Christ and are in the midst of Trials and suffering this Christmas. I pray that you would feel tangible blessings from our most high God this year as never before…that God would fill the void of loss in your souls with his presence and his peace…that you would experience healing at all levels and that he would deliver you from dispare and evil. We can learn from Job’s example that even people who know and love God can suffer through unthinkable trials. I pray that God would show you a glimpse of his Glory and that through it all he will gently remind you that your redeemer lives and that he will be with you through what ever storms come your way.
2. …for all those who don’t know Christ this Christms. I pray that God would place a new hunger in you to seek Him. I pray you would develop a deep restlessness to seek Christ. I pray that you would not let religion and denominaction stand in your way. As Job says…”our redeemer lives.” There is no teaching and no hope quite like those offered by Jesus and there is no person quite like Jesus. Religions around the world can go astray and twist truths toward violent and destructive ends. Jesus never teaches violence, Jesus always only teaches from a center of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self Control. Above all, I pray for you to find Jesus this Christmas.
3. Three, I pray for the church. We are the body of Christ. the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. I once heard someone teach that the church is God’s plan to bring hope into our world…and he doesn’t have another plan. I pray that God would ignite a passion in the church to promote justice and righteousness in our world as never before. I pray that God would give us a deep hunger to live out Matthew 5:16 as never before…that we would not sacrifice the Word of God to appease social programs but that we would fulfill the word of God to transform society. Our world is desperate for hope…real hope. John quote’s Simon Peter as saying in John 6:68…“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. That verse is just as relevant today as it was over 2000 years ago. To whom shall the world go if not to you Jesus…only You have the words of eternal life. And so…again I write, we are the hands and feet of Christ. I pray that God would help us fulfill His word so that when the world sees us, they see Him. Help us gain credibility when we say to the world “our redeemer lives.”
AMEN,,,Please Dear God, Let it be so…