Psalm 25: 1 & 42: 11, Galations 6: 9, 2 Samuel 23: 10

Teresa Phillips
Teresa Phillips

Doesn't Christmas seem like a long time ago now!? We finished off our Christmas cake the other day, a sure sign that it is truly gone. I felt as though Christmas 2004 was even more hyped up than the year before - did anyone else notice the mad Blackpool-illumination fever thing with streets lined with thousands of pounds worth of fairy lights - in November!? A few years ago it was the occasional house - now we have giant inflatable Santas standing proud in every other front garden.

It seems to me as though people make more of Christmas because they find winter so hard. This is where the idea of Winterfest (happening in Stoke-on-Trent) comes from - having a string of events lined up throughout winter to make it more bearable for those of us who find it depressing. The sad truth is that people do get depressed in winter, especially after Christmas. Why? Because they don't have God in their lives, to bring them joy in all circumstances. Since Christmas, I have had so many conversations with people who have said that they always feel low after Christmas. I think that because it is hyped up so much, it's a long fall back down to the reality of dark mornings and bare walls.

The truth is however, that we don't need to and shouldn't feel like this. We should lift our soul to God (Psalm 25: 1) but we need to do our bit too. we should also command our soul to be joyful, just like David did (Psalm 42: 11).

In 2 Samuel 23, some of David's men are mentioned for their endurance and courage. It says of Eleazar, son of Dodai, 'he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword.' (v10) This guy was chosen by God out of thousands, millions, even billions of men throughout history, to be mentioned in the Bible, because of his endurance.
So secondly, we should be like Eleazar. We should keep going, and never, ever, tire of doing what is right (Galations 6: 9) or of serving God.

So, refuse to let the Winter blues get you. Stand out for Jesus. To recap, make yourself endure in doing what is right, in serving God as He has called you. And be joyful, command your soul to be so.

And as for the brave Eleazar, well, verse 10 of 2 Samuel 23 goes on to say, 'The Lord brought about a great victory that day.' CR

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