• How Can I Be Joyful?

    From Your Pastors’ Desk

    Holidays are supposed to be joyful right? We are all filled with the spirit and thankful for all that we have, right? We are all supposed to be nicer and happier right? In reality the Christmas season can be a hard time of year for many of us. We don’t always get along with our families. The colder weather and gifts giving brings more financial burden. We long for the people who are no longer with us. Or we just feel the overwhelming pain of loneliness. When we are feeling lost and sad, we turn to the book of Psalms, specifically the psalms of people crying out to God in their pain. One such psalm is Psalm 6, the opening verse reads:

    O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.
 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me for my bones are shaking with terror. My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O LORD—how long?

    Many people think you can’t cry out to God—you can’t say you are angry, hurt or lost, that that makes you unfaithful. But our own scripture shows us this idea is simply not true. Not only can you tell God about what you are going through and cry out in pain, but crying out makes you faithful because you are trusting that God will hear your cry. Don’t let anyone tell you to, “Cheer-up and just trust in God.” No, in prayer allow God to hear how you are feeling. By not ignoring the hurt or pain, we allow God to heal us, and to make us whole again. Psalm 6 continues:

    Turn, O LORD, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise? I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; My eyes waste away because of grief; they grow weak because of all my foes.

    You see the psalmist has faith that while his or her bones shake in terror and is so worried that their bed is flooded with tears, there is still hope in the Lord. The Lord can and WILL deliver them.

    Read this ending: Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. The LORD has heard my supplication; the LORD accepts my prayer.
 All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror; they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.

    It ends with fortitude and strength. You see, you might be thinking this Christmas season; I don’t have anything to be thankful for. Be thankful for this my friend, God hears your cry and gives you the strength and courage to carry on. With God’s help you are more powerful and capable than you can even imagine. Don’t wait till everything is good to seek God, open up and be thankful to God. Do it here, right now. Hear this with certainty, God hears you and is your true strength. For that we are thankful. So, in this season of Advent let us wait for Christ’s return with assurance of hope and joy knowing that the light of Christ will surely overcome the power of darkness in this world.

    Happy Advent & Merry Christmas,
    Pastor Cheryl & Pastor Bala Khyllep

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