By Greg Laurie
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Maybe you are having a difficult time this Christmas. Maybe your marriage has fallen apart and you are alone. Let me tell you something: God is with you. Maybe your kids have forgotten about you this year. Jesus hasn’t forgotten about you. His name is Immanuel, which means “God with us.” Maybe your parents have forgotten about you. But God your Father has not forgotten about you.
Christmas is about undoing loneliness. Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV). From the original language, it literally could read something like this: “I will never, no never, no never leave you or forsake you.” He is going to be with you in the happy days. He is going to be with you in the sad days. He is going to be with you on the hard days. He will be with you through all of your days. Then He will be waiting for you on the other side to welcome you into glory. You don’t have to be afraid, because God is with you.
Sometimes people have asked me, “How do you get through the holidays if you have lost a loved one? Is there some book I can read?” My answer is that you don’t need a manual; you need Immanuel. You need to know that God is there. You need to lean into Him. That is the essential message of this holiday season: that God came near.
What we are longing for, deep down inside, is not Christmas, but Christ; not merriment, but the Messiah; not goodwill, but God; not presents, but His presence in our lives. Anyone or anything short of that will disappoint.
That is what this season all about. It is about Immanuel, God is with us. He is here for you.
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