As a new calendar year approaches, some people view the coming days with fear. This is especially true when the current year contained ample disappointment economically, socially, domestically, or in any other realm by which we are personally touched.
I remember that before I committed my life to Jesus Christ, I was heavily involved in most avenues of fortune telling. I also remember that the older I grew, the worse the years became.
However, when God transfers a person from the darkness to the Kingdom of His Dear Son, with God's grace one can see hope no matter how dismal the future might seem.
Perhaps the future seemed dim to many Jews during the time when Christ was born. They were subjects to Rome and many of their religious leaders were in sad spiritual shape. No notable and true prophet of God had risen since Malachi, fulfilling in part the prophecy by Amos that there would be a famine of hearing the Word of God.
The Herod family had found favor with Rome and, as a result, some of them were placed in positions of power, such as the murderous Herod the Great who was in charge of Judea.
Yet it was into this very dark time that God saw fit to send His Son to be born of the a virgin, that He might indeed redeem mankind from their sins.
Outside of Joseph and Mary, the very first people to learn about the birth of Christ were nearby shepherds. Perhaps these shepherds had been wondering about their dismal times and were tired of the spiritual famine they daily had to face.
It was to these that God sent an angel, saying, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."
Quite significant are the words "fear not," which occur multitudes of times within the Holy Scriptures. Fear is a tool used by satan (I avoid capitalizing that name) to keep us from the blessings of God that would satisfy our spiritual hunger and produce eternal fruit.
In its place God wants to give us His joy, which is full of hope and strength for our entire being. And quite precious in this passage is the fact that these good tidings that bring great joy are for everyone. It does not matter to God who the person is or how bad they are. This joy, found only in Christ, is for each person who, without reservation, embraces the Christ, and totally commits themselves to Him. And, in His joy shall we truly find the endurance that we need for the coming days.
"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates of rubies, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD, and great shall be the peace of thy children." --- Isaiah 54:11-13
For an overview of Pastor Pete's Internet ministry please visit