Feeling knocked down this Christmas?
What will be your highlight of 2022? I’ve got a bunch, but one that tops the list happened in September. It ranks right up there with Lazarus rising from the dead. Almost.
We had received the sad news that a family friend had suffered a crippling stroke and was in a bad way. It was a real shock because “Mike” was a young father – my age – and in excellent physical shape. As a family, we prayed for healing.
A few days later, Mike sent us a text. “Paul and Camilla, we’re in town. Can we swing by?”
“Sure,” we said. “It’d be great to see you.”
We had so many questions. Did Mike write that text or did it come from his wife? Isn’t he supposed to be in hospital? Is he mobile? Will he be able to climb our stairs?
When Mike and his wife drove up we met them in the driveway. He climbed out of the car and gave us a big grin. He looked his regular self. I was astonished. “Mate, you look terrific.”
“I won’t lie to you,” said Mike. “It’s been a rough ride. But things are looking good.” He was a walking miracle. Thank you, Jesus.
I mention Mike because his story is the story of 2023. Think about it. At the start of the year we were in good shape. Then we got hit with a war, fuel prices skyrocketed, and groceries became a luxury item. It’s been tough year. But like Mike, we’re still here.
A couple of weeks ago, I caught Covid. It was my first time. A dozen different symptoms came at me like enemy soldiers, one after the other. It was no fun. But like Mike, I’m still here.
When I was fighting the virus, a friend pasted an encouraging verse on my FB page: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers us from them all” (Ps. 34:19). We get knocked down, but by the grace of God we get up again.
This being my annual Christmas message is normally the place where I talk about all the big things we’ve done this year or the things we’re hoping to do next year. (You can read about my plans here.)
And this is normally the place where I personally thank all those wonderful people who support my writing and make it possible for me to produce things like the Grace Commentary and the new Grace Bible.
But today I just want to encourage your faith. If you’re knocked down, be encouraged. You’re going to get up again.
Here’s another great verse: “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise” (Mic. 7:8). It may be the end of 2022, but it is not the end of you.
May your family enjoy the peace and favor and VICTORY of our Lord in this season.
PS: I have a special Christmas gift just for patrons. It’s a story called “The Traveler and the Monk It can be found on Patreon and the supporters’ page here on E2R.
Thanks Paul for that encouraging word. This year has been one of the hardest in my family’s lives. But we know the Lord is true to His promises and His word never returns to Him without accomplishing all that He said. God bless you and your family in the New Year!
Thank you, Kathleen. A blessed New Year to you too.
God bless you and your family & loved ones, Paul. Wishing you all a blessed and joyous Christmas and New Year.
Thank you, Karen. Merry Christmas to you too.
Thank you for sharing that great testimony and encouraging word! Merry Christmas to you and your family as well as anyone who reads this!
Merry Christmas, LJP.
Blessings dear Paul from us all here in Perth …. still here as your lovely message says …. living the miracles of being His …. our love to you all over there Di and Chris xx
Thanks Di and Chris. Happy Christmas to you both.
Good morning Pastor,if i can, the virus is not what happened, your articles and your compassion have reached the lives of many “heathen” and that has “scorched” your hands, becouse you wanted to “touch” and heal them (you surely did, coz you “touched” with your beautiful work of blog and books) and so temporarely you have lended your “coolness”in Jesus for their “heath”,effectively saving them, now your are “cool” again and you surely stronger and more in Jesus then before.
That’s becouse the Gospel is a message and so exchange of energy can be even if there is no phisical touch.
I wish you a merry Cristmas and an happy new Year to you and your loved ones.
Thankyou for your words of encouragementâ¦.l too suffered 2 strokesâ¦.but home in 3 days and now totally recovered â¦.the devil tried to take me out but God saidâ¦wait a minute,she,s going nowhere cos My promise has not come to pass in her life yetâ¦Hallelujah l know it was You Lord that kept me alive!!!Praise and glory to Youâ¦Hallelujah!!!
Happ Christmas to you Paul and everyone else.. Without meaning to sound weird or loopy I thank God and rejoice in Christ Jesus that I am knocked flat – I want to stay “ knocked flat” in the best possible right sense- for Jesus for that is when Jesus is strongest in me I want to be knocked flat whilst at the same time not confusing it with “defeat” or that something is or I have done something wrong because of 2 Corinthians 12-9-10 , Colossians 1:24 – the Truth. I have been getting knocked flat and fighting and resisting it in my own strength and failing miserably all wrong for years the Truth when I am weak then I am strong makes so much more sense now because that’s when Christ takes over and can “work” for me Hallelujah the Lord has blessed and spoken to me so much in this post and comments. Thank you.
Wise words, Sally. Happy Christmas to you too.
I have just read your little note just a few minutes after saying to myself..keep trusting it will work out..Ive just gone through a devastating loss but I do have a lot to be thankful for.
Thankyou for your notes, I always find them encouraging Gordon