How to Endure Another Scary Christmas

Here we are, facing another scary Christmas.

Fear from COVID. Fear from disagreements about COVID. Fear from conspiracies, false news, and hoaxes. Conflict in the country. Conflict in the church. Divided families. Divided households.

And all this on top of rampant inflation, homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence, crime, and unrest.

How do we endure?

First, by remembering there has been a long, long human history of scary Christmases. The first Christmases were no picnic with oppression from Rome, our infant God hunted by Herod and Satan, the slaughter of children under two, and the holy family fleeing for their lives.

Subsequent Christmases have been marked by wars and every other manner of trouble. We are not the first to face such times and, unless Jesus comes this week, we won’t be the last.

Second, remember the admonishment of the angels – Do not be afraid. You must wonder if before every visitation to humans, angels stand before God while He reminds them “Okay, what’s the first thing you say when they see you?” “Do not be afraid.”

The angel said it to Zechariah when he announced that two senior citizens would have the baby prophet, John the Baptizer. Gabriel said it to a teenage virgin when he announced to Mary that she would deliver God’s Son. Then, he said it to Joseph when he assured him in a dream that this was all God’s plan. On the night Jesus was born, the angel told the shepherds not to be afraid.

You know God commands us over 365 times in scripture not to be afraid. But how is this possible?

It is.

Fear may appear on our emotional dashboards for any number of reasons. When it does, remember that in Christ, there is no condemnation. We can register the appearance of fear and acknowledge the reason for it without shame. We are fallen humans living in a fallen world. Things are not as they should be and Jesus knows this as well as we do. Recognize and confess your fear to God. Draw near to Him.

Then, renounce fear. Disavow it. Tell fear it has no place in your heart and mind. Allow no stronghold to form. Replace the lesser fear with one that is greater – your “fear” or reverence for the Lord. Turn to His Word, the Bible. Let His power, strength, compassion, and presence fill your vision and keep your eyes on Him.

There are a million reasons to be afraid in this world in our times and only One reason to have courage. But that One is Jesus Christ, and that One reason is enough to put all other fears in their place.

Some fears are unfounded. Some are due to passing situations. Some are completely legitimate. Some fearful situations arise due to the brokenness of the world or our own sin. Other times, God calls us into situations that require great courage.

Either way, life in our times can be like walking a tightrope across a river of crocodiles. The difference for us is that we do it by following a God who can shut the mouths of lions and bring the dead back to life. We need to not focus on the crocodiles but keep our eyes on Him. It doesn’t make the crocodiles any less real, but it does help our knees not to shake so much and provides us the guidance we need to navigate the crossing.

God is our Father and He is a good, good father. What does every parent tell their child about all kinds of fear-provoking situations – “Don’t be afraid. I’m right here.”

That’s what Christmas is all about. God with us.

He is so confident in His own power over sin and evil that He arrived in the most vulnerable of packages, an infant, to a poor family with no place to stay. It was like telling the devil and us – “Watch this. I’ll defeat what’s wrong with this world, not as a warrior but as a baby. You have nothing to fear because of me.”

I will say it again, there are a million reasons to be afraid in this world in our times and only One reason to have courage. But that One is Jesus Christ, and that One reason is enough to put all other fears in their place.

Rest in this, loved ones, “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11 (ESV)

Have a wonderful, imperfect Christmas and remember that God has designed you for and assigned you to these times. He has equipped us with everything we need for life and godliness – even in these times of fear and unrest.

Let us walk into the new year together, not with our eyes on the snapping crocodiles beneath our feet, but with our eyes on Jesus who knows exactly how to get all of us safely to the other side.

God is with us. Amen.

**Dear Readers, Thank you, so much, for sticking with me through a tumultuous year. Your kind words, patience, and support while I was healing from the dog attack meant the world to me. For those of you who support this website with your patronage, I deeply, deeply thank you! My healing continues but I am back to my day job, and also to speaking and writing. Six months of this year resulted from a few moments of incredible terror and pain but from that, God taught me that sometimes He delivers us from our fears and other times He delivers us through them. To God be the glory in all things! May you find your rest in Him this Christmas and into the New Year. Mercy, grace, and Merry Christmas, Lori


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14 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Janet Aronson says:

    Thank you Lori! I really needed this today. I may write of similar things but God has helped them sink in with your message. May He bring you joy and peace this Christmas.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Fear not….God is good/all the time!

  3. Teresa A Moyer says:

    Love following you and your journey of healing and faith! Merry Christmas!

  4. Dave Hill says:

    Most outstanding. Thank you Lori for all you do and all of your articles. You are very much appreciated. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  5. Thank you, Dave. Merry Christmas!

  6. Wendy says:

    Merry Christmas Lori! So glad you are on the other side of your horrible, terrifying experience! Praying your 2022 will be blessed with God’s love and joy and peace! I have no fear for God is with me, in me and I will continue to pray for our country, our health, and most of all a year full of freedom and not mandates!

  7. Deb Kreyssig says:

    We have nothing to fear because He is with us, Emmanuel. Such a great reminder. Thanks and Merry Christmas Lori!

  8. Paul Taylor says:

    God bless you Lori Roeleveld. Your posts are a comfort and an education.

  9. Barbara says:

    Wonderful reminder of who our God is, how wonderfully powerful he is and how much he cares for us. FEAR NOT!

  10. Lisa Larsen Hill says:

    Lori, Thank you for such a meaningful and relevant message especially after your own situation. I didn’t know about your dog incident, but I understand being afraid of large dogs because of an attack I also experienced. Glad to hear you are healing and finding a way back to your passion. Peace!

  11. Joanne Urbany says:

    Hi Lori. So glad to hear that you are on the mend from your dog attack. Thank you for this very encouraging word and may you have a most blessed Christmas.

  12. pamela J glover says:

    My husband and I are laughing out loud over God’s angel reminder… “What’s the first thing you say…”

    I appreciate how your insights catch me off guard snd make me think in a different way. Merry Christmas, Lori.

  13. Luann Pollizzotto says:

    Merry Christmas! Thanks for the reminder. God bless you.