There are many things that come to mind when we think of Christmas. Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Christmas dinner, the gifts, and spending time with family. Let’s not forget Christmas carols, Christmas cards, and the excitement (or trepidation) of Christmas shopping. Even in many non-Christian communities and families around the world, Christmas is celebrated with enthusiasm.
For believers, it is a time to focus on the celebration of the birth of Jesus. It is a season of joy, of gratitude, and new life.
The Christmas story is full of miracles. In fact, without the miraculous, there would have been no Christmas story. The power of the Holy Spirit came upon Mary to allow a virgin to conceive and give birth to the Son of God (Luke 1:26-33). The wise men were directed by a star to come and worship Jesus after He was born (Matthew 2:1-2). The angel of the Lord warned Joseph through a dream so that their family could escape from Herod and go to Egypt (Matthew 2:13). Supernatural wonders were demonstrated again and again throughout the conception, birth, and life of Jesus.
The word miracle in the Greek is the word ‘dunamis’. This word means power, miraculous force, or mighty strength. When we see a miracle, it is God’s mighty power becoming evident.
While all miraculous stories centred around the birth of Jesus are incredible, one of the greatest Christmas miracles is something small and unexpected. Something we can all have, but often need more of. A conviction which is freely available, but regularly comes under attack. And that Christmas miracle is BELIEF.
For the Christmas miracles to come to pass, ordinary people like you and me had to believe. They had to take God at His word. People had to trust that the signs they had seen, and the dreams they had received, were true. God needed men and women to partner with Him. Mary needed to believe what the angel Gabriel told her, and she came into agreement with God’s plan. Joseph had to believe that his betrothed was indeed impregnated – not by a human being, but by God himself. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth believed that she was in the presence of the Saviour the moment that her own baby in her womb leapt with joy.
Belief is a simple word, but such a powerful concept. It means to place confidence in or to credit as true, even when we don’t have proof. It shouldn’t be surprising that those who profess to follow Christ are called believers! To have faith in an unseen God is a necessary foundation of Christianity.
Romans 10:9 (NIV) If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Belief is necessary for the miraculous, but it also unlocks blessing. Luke 1:45 tells us that Mary was blessed because she “believed that the Lord would fulfil his promises to her.” After his death and resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and says to Thomas:
John 20:29 “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
We are blessed to be called children of God. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing. Yet through circumstances and disappointments, our faith can diminish. Even when we still believe in God and His Word, our belief for the miraculous can waver.
For many of us, this year has been filled with challenges and difficulties. Our faith has been tested like never before. But as we look forward with anticipation to Christmas, it is time to believe for new things. It is time to expect the miraculous again.
Your own Christmas miracle is not out of reach. It might seem impossible, illogical or even crazy, but our God is the God of the impossible. His miraculous power is available to us. If he can part the Red Sea, then he can make a way for you. If Jesus can raise Lazarus from the dead, He can bring that dream back to life. If Paul and Silas can be freed from prison and lead the jailer and his family to salvation and baptism, there is still hope for your unsaved family and friends.
If a coin can be found in the mouth of a fish, then the Holy Spirit can direct you out of that financial challenge you are facing. If God can provide manna for the Israelites, He can put food on your table this Christmas.
Keep praying and keep believing for your Christmas miracle. Keep coming into agreement with God’s Word. Together, let’s expect the unexpected for this next season and for the New Year.
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