It’s Advent. And Christmas will soon be upon us.

Yet, instead of holiday joy, despair — a sense of hopelessness, no way out, the end of the line — is fast becoming our national illness. Our problems seem to have no solutions. They’re all too big, too complex, too out of control to fix, and it appears that indifference to each other’s needs is growing. The malady of despair is mutating all around the globe.

But what is overtaking so many of us Christians is the very thing Jesus forbids us to embrace — worry and hopelessness. We aren’t to follow the culture on the road to despair.

That, of course, is far easier said than done! Christians can lose their 401K just as fast as their neighbor. They can get sick, die, face unemployment, go upside down in their mortgage, lose everything they have, or anything else that people go through.

Maybe you’re there now. You’ve prayed and prayed the worst wouldn’t happen, only to stand by and watch as it does. Or perhaps you’ve asked God a long time for something but still received no answer, and you wonder, Why won’t God talk to me? Does he even hear me at all? From our human perspective, it can even appear sometimes that God just doesn’t care!

But regardless of how we may feel at any given moment, let’s focus on Jesus’ command: Do not worry! He himself promised, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We have a God who makes an exit where none existed before, a God who creates ex nihilo (out of nothing), who opens not only a doorway out, but also a doorway in. That’s something we call an “exodus” — a way in to the Promised Land — a real solution, a rescue, a better life.

This Christmas season, remember that whatever else claims a place in your life, despair should not. As long as we have Christ, we have every reason to hope, to enjoy, and to rejoice. Don’t give up; the better and brighter day will come.

Photo via Flickr