Updated: Jan 7
By Becky Beresford
Celebrating Christmas Bravely
If you are anything like me, sometimes it’s hard to fully celebrate Christmas.
It’s not because Jesus doesn’t deserve our praise. He does.
It’s not because we’re ungrateful. We are.
But the holidays highlight an uncomfortable paradox. As our eyes gaze around at our family and friends, we see the combination of goodness and grief, and our conflicting emotions don’t know what to do. People are rejoicing this week, but they are also mourning. Both go hand-in-hand, side-by-side in our everyday lives. We may feel guilty for celebrating when those we care about are suffering deeply. Maybe we are the ones trying to numb our pain in order to appear more ‘merry’ and bright. But God hears our hearts. He sees the details of each person’s story and gives us permission to process through pain. No matter where we are, God delivers a promise that is sure to help us persevere – He promises us Himself.
One of the biggest miracles of Christmas is that when God sent His perfect Son to earth, He didn’t send Him into perfection. He sent Him to be present – to be with us. In the midst of heartache and loss, the holiness of heaven stepped foot on unholy ground. The Son of God entered into both beauty and brokenness, and it was a choice made by the Father. God told Mary to name her baby boy JESUS because “He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21). Ever since the Garden, humanity had fallen. Paradise with our Maker was lost. No matter how hard we tried, we could never earn our way back to Him. But God wanted us. He had already bestowed value on His creation and desired a real relationship with His children. He wanted to free us from the spiritual effects of sin and death, but He also wanted to give us abundant life. Right here. Right now. Right in the swirling mixture of goodness and grief.
So what does this have to do with bravery?
According to Merriam-Webster, Bravery is defined as “the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty.” When we look at this explanation, it’s clear Jesus was the pure definition of bravery. He showed up for us. He knew hardship would be present. He knew what was coming at the end of His life. And yet, He kept moving forward for the sake of redemption and love because we were worth it. Jesus is the reason we can celebrate with courage, even when life doesn’t look like we wished it would. He is the role model we can base our bravery on.
"Jesus was the pure definition of bravery. He showed up for us. He knew hardship would be present. He knew what was coming at the end of His life. And yet, He kept moving forward for the sake of redemption and love because we were worth it. Jesus is the reason we can celebrate with courage, even when life doesn’t look like we wished it would."
And because of Christmas, we get to show up too. When difficulties arise and pain bleeds through, we have the opportunity to believe in something greater than ourselves. We can look toward the sky, stare at the heavens and remember the star that illuminated a newborn baby in a manger over 2,000 years ago. This is our Savior. The Word of God made flesh. Immanuel. God with us.
One of my favorite verses I recite to myself when discouragement creeps in is John 1:4-5:
“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (NLT)
Ladies, this same light lives in you! If Jesus is your King, then you can walk confidently in the victory He has already won. Nothing can overcome what’s been set in holy stone. You can face your fear. You can finish each day. You can claim joy. You can call your enemy out and rely on God’s strength. You have the power because that baby in a manger ended His life on a cross, but three days later He rose from the grave. He defeated death, covered sin and crushed Satan. Jesus broke through the darkness back then, and He gives you the authority to do it again today. Our God is bigger, friends. And His abundant life is the best.
"Jesus broke through the darkness back then, and He gives you the authority to do it again today. Our God is bigger, friends. And His abundant life is the best."
Let’s be like Jesus this Christmas. Let’s enter into hardship but hold on to hope. Let’s remember God’s promise and thank Him for its fulfillment. Darkness will never win. The Light has already come.
Let’s celebrate Christmas fully this year. And choose to do it bravely.
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
And by the way...
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Becky Beresford lives in Huntley, IL and is happily outnumbered by her husband and three wild boys. She is a writer, dreamer, certified life coach and speaker with a Master’s Certificate in Discipleship from Moody Theological Seminary. Becky loves encouraging God’s Daughters to embrace their holy worth and live life fully loved. When she isn’t at the keyboard, you can find her dreaming of sandy beaches, serving mamas in church and hanging with her people. Feel free to follow her and the weekly Brave Women Series on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter or by signing up for updates HERE. Merry Christmas from her family to yours!