Is Christmas your happiest time of year? This season is all about joy, giving, family, friends, and remembering Jesus’ birth.
Except it isn’t. Not always.
I have a friend who suffers from depression, even to the point where it drives them to suicidal thoughts. Already this month, as I’ve talked with them, they’ve shared how they had returned to the suicidal mindset, were doubting God’s plan for their life, and felt like they hated themselves. They were devastated because they kept falling back to their terrible state every few days and couldn’t just stay happy. The Christmas season had no effect.
I was recently talking to someone else and they shared about how they had been particularly struggling last Christmas. How they had silently suffered through it all year long. The entire situation is still hurting them today. Even during the process of writing this article, things have been getting worse. The pain that they felt, the sorrow they’ve experienced, and the guilt they have been placing on themselves is manifold. The Christmas season had no effect.
The truth is, people still suffer during this wonderful season. They are still abused, emotionally broken, and suffering from temptation. Maybe you’re one of them.
But do you know what’s a huge comfort in this time?
It’s that Jesus Christ—God’s holy, wonderful, perfect, powerful Son—came to this earth to suffer so that He could redeem us.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
Have you ever thought about it like that? Jesus taught, blessed, and healed along the way, but His main purpose was to suffer for us. To die for us.
Jesus knows how we feel when we’re betrayed, let down, tempted, ignored, mocked, challenged, suffering from loss, and facing the horrors of this world because He went through it all too.
Of course, Jesus, being perfectly holy, didn’t give in to the temptation and handled all situations with love and grace. But that doesn’t mean He never felt sad or didn’t know pain. Jesus experienced the death of his friends. He experienced mockery from those around Him. Jesus experienced physical abuse when He was punched, whipped, made to carry a cross, had a crown of thorns shoved onto His head, and was nailed to that cross.
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.” (Matthew 27:27-31)
Then, on top of all that, He knew a pain far worse than we will ever know. He bore the burden and guilt of sin on the cross. He knew what it felt like to have God turn His face away in shame. He knew what it felt like to have people laughing at Him as He hung there, “bruised for our iniquities.”
Jesus knows the pain you’re in, dear Roses. When you cry out to Him for help He knows exactly what you need. He knows because He, of course, knows all things, but He also knows because He felt what it was like to be human and in pain.
However, in this Christmas season, let us praise the Lord that Jesus was not just a human like you and me. Yes, He had a human body and felt what it was like to be human, but He was also God. He knew how to handle every situation and, thus, left the best example for us. He was perfect, so He never sinned. He was selfless, so He died and bore the sin of the world—so that you and I could find glorious freedom in His blood.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:21-24)
Then He arose, oh praise God, He arose from the dead, defeating death and the devil! He didn’t just bear the weight of sin. He conquered death.
Roses, what more could we ask for in a Savior?
Rest on these wonderful truths today. Rest in the comfort that God knows how you feel. Even if the situation doesn’t seem to be changing and the things around you don’t seem to be getting better, remember that Christ suffered too—and He suffered for you.
Through your depression like my friend was going through, look to God. Through the emotional pain like what was shared with me, look to God. Those people in my life aren’t where they would like to be… but they’re not where they were and it’s only because they have a Saviour who went through His worst to help them through their worst.
And if your situation isn’t changing, then you can know for sure that it’s part of God’s plan to grow you as a Christian and to strengthen your faith. God has a reason for everything and knows the pain you feel through it all.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:1-5)
A season of the year that brings happiness to some people, doesn’t improve the situation for those with deep issues in their life. We need to reach out to them, help them, comfort them.
And if you are one of those suffering souls, you need to reach out to those who can truly help and encourage you. In fact, feel free to contact us if you ever need anything. Something both my examples share in common is that they reached out to friends and family for comfort and advice. Having other Christians supporting you can go a long way.
So, Roses, remember His birth… but also remember the cross.
Beth is a seventeen-year-old Historical Fiction writer from the United Kingdom. She is the second oldest of ten children and is a pastor’s kid. She loves her quiet countryside life and couldn’t dream of living anywhere else. She recognizes that she is not alone in her battles against the Devil and that there are many other young women out there who simply need a kind voice reassuring them of God’s love and power. It’s her goal to be a reassuring voice saying, “Keep going- I’m here for you but, most importantly, God is here for you.”