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There is little controversy when it comes to wanting to be happy. Most people desire happiness. As a framework for life; as a goal. When life’s circumstances do not produce happiness, faith can wane. God never intended for that to be. When grief has its season in our lives, emotions can slump and faith can dim. But faith in the Lord is something that can increase in times that are unhappy, if His glory is sought in all.

Sufferings in life bring us closer to Jesus. If suffering comes due to deaths, health problems, relationship challenges, and various other human experiences, the presence of the Holy Spirit and a continuous desire for the Lord to be in the center, will produce something beneficial. It will not be happiness. But eventually, ever so incrementally, there will be a washing away of sorrow and a replacement of peace and purpose. This may take a long time to reach. Following Jesus is a life-long process, and in every season of life He will indeed make something meaningful out of sufferings. He promised. Will you believe in His promise?

Lord Jesus, trust is a word bandied about yet that is what You ask followers to do. By faith we are to follow You, trust You, and then watch to see Your presence and Your hand in our lives to make meaning out of that which can seem meaningless. Thank You, Jesus, for being our constant companion, and for always making good on Your promises. In Thee, Amen.

We form dreams in our heart and give them to Son of God so that by faith we can expect to see them come to be.  The Lord knows our hearts and He knows the hopes that live in us for He Himself is the Maker of hope and Giver of dreams.  But when loss strikes a life, it can seem as though the God of Israel in Whom we have trusted subtracts rather than adds to personal or mutual splendor.  In God’s economy everything is exponential.  Everything has value.  Part of the mystery of God is that those things that strike the heart create a place for Him to fill.

Grief takes but Jesus replenishes.  Sorrows exhausts but Jesus refills.  Going through a time of barren days and blank views does not seem purposeful let alone productive.  With God, somehow it is.  We do not see the meaning in a time of deep sadness due to tradegy, poor choices, and painful consequences.  God does.  He sent Jesus to be proof that in Jesus and because of Him, hope will rise again.  That there is still purpose in the wilderness times of life, and that the shadows of grief eventually give way to a dawn of meaning.  Whatever you are experiencing right now that is painful and seemingly without intent, know that the Lord is with you and He will lead the way to resotration and meaning.  He will lead the way for HE is the way.

Lord Jesus, You abide, in Your presence, in Your Word.  You stay with those who hurt and You still extend hope and meaning even when life hurts and dreams are shattered.  Because You live to comfort and redeem, there is hope for better days and for purpose that only Your living Spirit can provide.  Thank You, Lord, for all You continue to give of Yourself in times of loss.  In Thee, Lord Jesus, Amen.
Expectation is either exhilierating or limiting.  It depends on who is in control–God or us.  The choice is ours.  To expect based on human desire is to limit Diviine hope.  Human expectations tend to be governed by human wishes.  Conversely when one gives expectations over to Divinity to fulfill, the best outcome is sure to result.  Even in times of grief, Divinity is at work seeking to fulfill expectations.

Sorrow can and does get the better of us when loss strikes.  But Jesus came to enter the world and to enter hearts such that all–all–in Him will be infused with a redemptive quality.  Grief can blind that truth.  Feelings can paralyze that truth.  Jesus fulfills that truth.  Even in sorrow, may we possess a grain of faith to let Him.

Lord, expectations placed in You can only result in something purposeful and new.  Help us, Lord, to give to You all of our expectations for the results You pray we receive.  In Thee our Lord and Saviour, Amen.

There are few times of year as attention-getting a milestone as the start of a new year. Yes, special events in our lives–happy or sad–do get our attention. But a new year is pivotal. We stop to pause and consider what has been and what shall be. Whatever the year has held, Jesus has held the year.

He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. This is the Scripture from Colossians that anchors Three Kings Ministries. Indeed Jesus is before all and in Himself He binds all. The glad. The sad. The misunderstood. The unknown. The clear. Your future. Your past. Your today. Jesus is the One–the only One–who can keep all aspects of life centered in Himself. Whatever has been and whatever shall be, letting Jesus be the focal point of one’s life is certain to result in meaning. Even if meaning is not clear at first. May the Lord of all love, instruction, and purpose give warmth to your spirit as you turn your gaze to the new year. Jesus will be there. He would have it no other way.

Lord Jesus, You have held this past year in Your heart–whatever has happened. May each one hold You, Risen Christ, in his or her heart so that faith and love abide in the fullness of fellowship with You–whatever circumstances bring. Blessed Redeemer, Thank You for being our constant presence throughout all the days and years of our lives. In the Name above all names, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Nestled in the activities of the Christmas season is hope.  A hope for which humanity longs.  Jesus is the hope.  Christmas serves as the annual reminder of the powerful penetration of the Divine into the world. He still breaks through to bring great blessings and hope–beyond feelings.  He still provokes wonder that man cannot match; wonder that Satan cannot stifle.

If grief is part of your spirit this Christmas season, trust that Jesus is with you in your grief.  He came as a baby in the manger but He is the great strength of our lives–if we will let Him be.  Let Him be.  Let the Jesus of Bethlehem be to you a warm and tender companion to walk with you this Christmas and throughout all the days of your life.  No one will love you more than Jesus.  Trust His love.

Loving Jesus, You came. You lived. You died. You rose.  You pray.  You watch.  Indeed You are, Lord Jesus, the abiding love.

Looking ahead can seem impossible when life here and now is not as we had hoped. When loss and sorrowful experiences color the days, the future can seem meaningless and even hopeless. It is not. In Jesus there is always hope. In Jesus there is tomorrow. Jesus is the future. Jesus is the way to the future.

Christmas is all about hope. It is the great hope for all people. At all times. This means in times of grief and when life changes dramatically. To look ahead knowing that Jesus is there is to have hope. May you find the courage and confidence only Jesus the Saviour brings to give you hope this Christmas and all the days of your life. He is with you. Trust Him. He loves you so.

Lord Jesus, You came. We praise You and we exalt Your Name. You came to us. Because You did, we are never ever alone. May Your heart be full of our love for You this Christmas and all the days of our lives. In Thee, Saviour and Lord Jesus, Amen.

One of the marvelous certainties about belief in Jesus is the presence of Him with a believer. Jesus came to the world out of love. Love stays. Love gives. Jesus is the utter Giver. Therefore, He keeps His presence with you, with me, at all times and in all places. Even if that presence is not felt.

Grief tugs at the heart at special times. Christmas is one of the times when grief can be especially acute. Whether a loss is raw or if a loss happened quite some time ago, the season provokes emotions and memories. If reminders are sad or glad, Jesus is with the one who believes in Him to make the experience of remembering tender in Him. Only Jesus can absorb the pain of difficult remembrances and brand it with His touch to soothe. This Advent Season know that the living Jesus lives inside of you to be your balm.

Lord Jesus, this Christmastide we celebrate the arrival of You into the world. Some who are in pain due to grief may not feel celebratory. Yet, You, the conquering Christ, promised to be there with those who grieve. By faith, Lord, we trust You to be our companion when life hurts, and be our hope through all the seasons of our lives. In Thee, Lord Jesus, Amen.

Throughout the Christmas season, we hear much about giving. Gifts, treats, and cards are exchanged in abundance. For those who experience a loss, giving can be a hollow thought. People who grieve feel depleted; there is nothing to give. Each one of us will experience phases of grief in the course of our lives. At Christmas, and each season, when we feel as though we have nothing left to give, Jesus remains our Giver.

Jesus gives. Jesus blesses. Jesus renews. Feelings have nothing to do with whether or not Jesus is giving. He is. Because He never changes. You do. I do. His commitment to care and support is in place. Nothing can stop it. Not circumstances, not indifference. The breadth of Christ’s love for people cannot be comprehended by the human mind or heart. Faith requires trust. So this Advent Season that is filled with giving, keep your heart set on Jesus–the Giver. Everything you could ever hope for is gained when thoughts, prayers, and attention are devoted to the Lord Jesus. Keep receiving Him by faith.

Lord, You stay. You give. You comfort. You remember. You uphold. You. No one but You. Thank You, Lord for Your sustaining grace, protective love, and eternal promises. In Thee, Amen.

To be encouraged is to receive encouragement.  Encouragement is ever available but it may not be able to get into one’s spirit because of one kind of blockage or another.  Grief, emotional turmoil, routine activities, special events, can prevent encouragement from getting inside of a spirit.  Furthermore, life’s circumstances not being as one would like them to be can be so negative as to build a wall around the heart such that encouragement is banned from the heart.  When encouragement is blocked, hope is blocked.
These weeks leading to Christmas are weeks to be mindful of Jesus, the One who came into the world ever mindful of you and of me.  He IS encouragement–personified.  To receive Jesus and the life-giving message His presence offers, is to allow Him entry into a heart by seeking His way and not our way.  Do you think this is hard to do in the throes of grief?  It can be.  However, Jesus is with you in the challenges of goodbyes and transitions that are painful and unwanted.  He still and forever wants to be beside you and walk with you through this time in your life.
Lord Jesus, You came into this world to be the beacon of hope to a lost and dying world.  When people experience personal loss, it may seem as if all has died.  You have not.  Your life brings life anew.  Help each one who grieves, Lord Jesus, to be encouraged by Your presence and to trust Your heart of faithfulness beyond their own.  In Thee, Lord Christ, Amen.

Blessings are both seen and unseen.  Known and unknown.  Loss takes travelers on a journey through grief that is blessed with certain remembrances clear and others that are blurry at best.  When grief comes into a life, “blessing” takes on a different meaning entirely.  Jesus defines blessings.
If you or someone you know struggles to see the blessings in life due to a significant loss and transition, Jesus is the only One who can make a difference in that struggle and enable one to find meaning in it.  Leaving matters to Jesus is a choice.  He wants to help.  He is the help.  He is the One who brings meaning out of uncertainties and makes gratitude possible–still.
Lord Jesus, because of You even in losses that hurt and dismay, there is still reason to give thanks and to remember.  Help those who griieve to recognize what Your heart already sees.  Thank You, Lord, Jesus, for everything.  Amen.

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