It’s a hard time to feel Christmas cheer if you’re still reeling over sickness or the recent loss of a loved one. Sometimes, until we heal, the full holiday effect is just too much for our wounded spirits.

If the whole “Christmas experience” is overwhelming to you, try narrowing your celebration down to simple worship of God for the gift of His Son.

True Christmas is all about Him instead of us. It need be nothing more. We make it far too complicated because we center its significance on people, not God.

I hear people say all the time, “Christmas is all about the kids.” Well, it isn’t. It’s about Jesus. If it’s not, we’re setting ourselves up for cruel disappointment. Kids will grow up and leave home. Sometimes loved ones die. Divorce happens. A lost job will leave your pockets empty with nothing under the tree-if you can even afford the tree!

When the people and things we love leave us or let us down, it crushes our love for the season; but when we focus on Him, however, as rightly we should, other things are small and less significant in comparison. Please don’t despair, for paring down your expectations and shifting your priorities can make this season a time of joy again. Your return to sincere worship will not only shut out the noise of the things that cause you pain, but your Heavenly Father actually hovers close to those who praise Him.

We had a significant loss in our family several years ago; a close loved one taken unexpectedly, whose funeral was on Christmas Day. After some painful Christmases to follow, we eventually learned that healing came when we narrowed our focus back to Jesus. In His rightful place, He set all things right again.

In most cases, we can’t avoid the other stuff entirely. There will be little kids to buy for, that kind of thing…but if you’re going through a time when the season is just too painful, don’t immerse yourself in the part that drags you down. Don’t sit and listen to sad old songs–and if memories cause you to be depressed, stay away from them until feelings aren’t so raw.

There will come a day again when these things won’t weigh 500 pounds on your shoulders. It’s not sacrilegious if you choose this year not to observe the Christmas built on traditions of men! You don’t have to hang lights or put up a tree, or watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” on TV in order to observe Christmas! Don’t take yourself into the places where you haven’t healed.

Take a break from that part of this season and just go back to Jesus. There’s no sadness associated with His birth, and that’s where our true celebration begins. Peace will permeate the hurt places in your life.

Make your Christmas all about Him this year (and every year), and other things will take their rightful place in the mix.

With Him as the centerpiece of this holy day, you need never hate or dread Christmas again.

All the other things which make it a dreadful time for some—shopping nightmares, stress, shortage of money, painful memories–these have nothing to do with Jesus. Stay focused on Him.

The pure simplicity of His birth doesn’t require anything more than a grateful heart; so whatever else tries to crowd out your Christmas spirit, push it away from the center of your life and just rest, like the baby in the manger, in the infinite goodness of a God who was willing to give His very best–for you.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

By Lisa Crum

10 Responses to Christmas Joy, Even When You’re Hurting

  1. ymg says:

    This couldn’t be any better timing. Im very sad and overwhelmed. My marriage is falling apart and its only been months

  2. Joan says:

    This message is so true. I wish many more people would know the true meaning of Christmas, and put Christ back into the season. Instead of all the stress and chaos the we make part of the season.. Christ if the reason for the season.

    Thank you and have a blesses Christmas.

  3. Bincy says:

    Superb message!

  4. elizabeth verghese says:

    Thanks for d wonderful msg. I am sure it vl soothe many a bleeding heart

  5. Biju Kurien says:

    Very true and aptly timed & presented. Great job. This is meaningfully saying ” He is my all”

    Regards & wishes to u too Lisa

  6. charles benjamin says:

    Thank you for your ministry. May God bless you abundantly. It’s wonderful message which refreshed and encouraged my soul and spirit. I am very much blessed by this message.

  7. sandra davis faulknor says:

    Indeed I’m reminded of the reason for the season profound message

  8. helen says:


  9. Joel Canders says:

    This message is very timely, and could’nt come at a better time. I myself am experiencing this, but today I was reading in my Jesus Calling devotional about returning back to my first love, which is Jesus. It’s really sad that when Christmas comes around, people make attempts to smile, and befriend you, only around this occasion. Something to think about. But getting back to Jesus, I often wonder, how does He feel when we as His creation wander away from His presence, only to find ourselves in a place we know we should’nt be in the first place. As a life-change for me, I’m going to do all that I can to stay close to the One who loves me no matter what. Simply because with Him, I can’t go wrong, even if life does. God bless those who are lonely this season due to whatever life has thrown your way with a double portion of Jesus’ peace, Amen!

  10. essienobba says:

    What would you do if your birthday was coming up and it was on Christmas ,and year after year it was remembered less and less? Everyone was remembering to buy gifts for others and talking about Santa, but your birthday was being pushed in the back ground because you just were not important anymore? Would you be mad,sad,feel unloved,not important and forgotten ? So you left. Because you knew you could go and talk to one person who would understand, Jesus. Yes He would understand….essienobba

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