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#holidays #christmas #lonely #loss #God #serving #jesus #hope #grief #pain #help

The holidays can be lonely times for those who have suffered losses of loved ones or are missing families, friendships, or relationships due to extenuating circumstances. As a single mom, for many years I had to send my daughter across the country to visit her father and family at Christmas. As a little girl, she would ask me to fly with her because she was afraid to fly alone and wanted me close. Due to the expense and time of travel, it made more sense to stay then to fly back and forth. Many Christmases, I would be in a hotel room by myself. I never minded taking the trips because it helped her feel safe and secure knowing I was close, but it was very lonely for me. I was still walking out my healing from being divorced, I was missing family and friends back at home, and most heart-wrenching, I was missing spending Christmas with my precious daughter.

As I stared at the pop-up Christmas tree that I set up in my hotel room, I cried out to God in my loneliness. The room was filled with His presence and He began to show me how precious this time could be Him if I changed my perspective. As I started to worship and pray, Jesus began to heal my hurting heart and gave me the rest I needed body, mind and spirit. He filled me with His love to cover all of the empty and hurting places.

The following year, in the same hotel room, I asked Jesus how I could show His love to others. I started making care kits for the homeless and evangelized on the streets and started volunteering at a homeless shelter where I served food, set up bedding, prayed with people and helped raise funds and donations for the shelter. When I was wasn’t serving, I was spending precious alone time with Jesus. People starting donating towards my trip and my flights, hotel and supplies were covered! I made lasting friendships with the people at the homeless shelter. The time of loneliness I dreaded the most became a time I looked forward to each year. The last time I had to spend Christmas alone out there, God gave me an open door to share the Gospel with 40 men who were waiting to go inside to sleep at the shelter that night. He gave them prophetic words and many came to accept Christ that night. God used this season to not only change me, but also to serve others for His Kingdom!

That season of our lives is now over, but I will never forget the transformation in my heart that took place. As we approach Christmas, if you are feeling the pain of loss, or the longing to be with your friends and loved ones but circumstances will not allow you to, here are 4 encouraging steps and verses to bring comfort to your hearts.

1. Cry out to God in your pain. It is easy to try and be strong in front of others, but God already knows your hurt and the season you are in. Jesus experienced every pain you are encountering and understands. Call to Him for help in your brokenness. “In my distress I called on the Lord, and cried for help to my God”. Psalm 18:6 MEV

2. In your alone time with Jesus, allow Him to heal all of the empty and broken places. If you have Jesus, you have everything you need to experience wholeness. “He heals the broken in heart and binds up their wounds”. Psalm 147: 3 MEV

3. Approach this season with a new perspective of expectation, joy and thanksgiving for the life Jesus died to give you, trusting Him to help you each step. “O Lord my God, I cried to you, and You healed me. You have brought up my soul from the grave; you have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit…Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; Lord be my helper.” Psalm 30: 2-3, 10 MEV

4. Ask God to give you opportunities to help others who may be hurting. You can serve at a local soup kitchen, shelter, nursing home, veteran’s home or orphanage. You can invite people going through similar circumstances over for dinner. Wherever or whoever God calls you to serve, if you go about the business of the Father, He will take care of yours! “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 MEV

As we prepare to celebrate the day that Jesus entered this world to bring us hope, let this holiday season replace your brokenness, loneliness and sadness with His healing, hope and joy. Jesus will be with you each step of the way, and God can use this time to transform your life and others for His Kingdom, while bringing you the healing and restoration you need.

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  • Writer's pictureDr. Meg Hart

Updated: Dec 3, 2018

#demons #compromise #sin #freedom #Jesus #bible #remnant #christian #church #victim #conqueror #help #deliverance

Part of the great falling away of the Church has a lot to do with who or what the believer chooses to occupy their time with daily. Satan has sent his demons to create a self-serving group of self-proclaimed “believers” who have one foot in the Word and one foot in a world where one cannot be offensive, must tolerate everything and needs to accept everyone. They befriend compromise and pride, and coddle the sin in their hearts and in the lives of their family, friends and loved ones. They buy into and promote lukewarm theology that is festering spiritual pollution, disease and death throughout this world. Jesus didn’t coddle demons during His time of ministry and warns the half-hearted Church “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16).

At one point or another, we have all fallen victim to indulging the lust of the flesh and walking in sin. However, it’s time for the remnant of Christ to shape up, stand out and speak up. If you have opened the door to the enemy by allowing him the space that belongs only to God, here are six ways to uninvite those demons for good!

1. Stop remaining a victim. Because we live in a fallen world, we are going to face persecution, assault from the enemy and personal attacks over our bodies, minds and spirits. We may be victims of these things when they happen, but we cannot remain there. Jesus paid the price to give us the victory. If we continue to live as victims and make excuse after excuse for why we can’t move past the situations or events that occurred, then we are saying the cross was not enough to help us. Jesus paid the price, so we can conquer anything and everything the enemy throws at us. “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8: 31-35,37 NIV).

2. Do not be afraid to address sin! Do not try and hide and make excuses for your sin or the sin of your family and friends. It can be so easy to point out the sin in others, but so hard to face our own sin. “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:17, NIV) Pride will make excuses, lie, or bury the truth. Do not be deceived. Run to the cross and repent! Don’t be afraid to encourage friend family and loved ones who are in habitual sin to do the same! You may face rejection and mockery, but do not be afraid to get rude with the devil! Just as each of will stand before God for our owns sins, we will also stand before him for the opportunities missed to help a brother or sister in Christ by speaking the truth in love. “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins”. (James 5:19-20, NIV)

3. Stop centering your life around others’ opinions. Satan will use the need for acceptance power, fame and fortune to open the door to compromise and sin. When you don’t stand up for God’s word and call out sin for what it is—a one-way ticket to destruction, then you are playing a dangerous game with demonic deception. Do not compromise out of fear that you will be rejected by the world. Choose to please God, desire Him and stand up for His Word over anyone and everything else. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world”. (1 John 2:15-16, NIV)

4. Forgive others, yourself and God. If we refuse to forgive those who hurt us, even if we need to forgive ourselves or God, we are in sin. We are holding hands with the devil, and he is taking us on a road to bitterness, hatred and death. Forgiveness is a choice. It does not require feelings. It does not always guarantee an apology back or reconciliation with the perpetrator. However, when the we start to take the hand of deception and start skipping down the path of unforgiveness, pause look at the nail-scarred hands beckoning us to stop playing games with the enemy and take His hand instead. Jesus had a choice. He chose love, grace, mercy and redemption at the cross and we are commanded to do the same. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”. (Ephesians 4:31-32, NIV).

5. Use your God-given authority. Stop wasting time playing with the demons sent out to destroy you! We must go to the secret place and draw on the authority given through Jesus and spend our time in prayer and speaking in tongues. This will silence Satan’s lies and amplify God’s truth! “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16:13-15, NIV).

6. Do not be afraid to seek help and deliverance. If you coddle the demons long enough, they will overcome you. Just like a bully who demands, your attention, action, time and money, the demons you allow to actively participate in your life will destroy the opportunities God has for you in this life. If you have allowed them control and you feel like you can’t walk away, then it’s time to seek help. Go to your pastors, and brothers and sisters in Christ for prayer and support. Prayerfully find a full-gospel, Bible-believing, spirit-filled church that has Christian counseling and healing and deliverance ministries. There is no shame in seeking freedom. “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”. (James 5:16, NIV).

The return of Jesus is coming soon. Will He find you a hot, on-fire follower living out the freedom He died to give you, or will he see you hanging out and playing games with the demons sent out to destroy your life? Stop indulging the demons in your life, and seek holiness and freedom while there is still time! Your life, and the lives you influence depend on it! “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12, NIV)

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