From the desk of Steve Shultz:
This is a great Christmas word and has a humorous tone to it too. The grinch (enemy) only comes to kill, steal and destroy. Christmas time can be a hard time for some, and the enemy can prey on those who are alone or lonely this time of the year. Remember those in need of the love that YOU have to offer through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
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Why is it that at the most wonderful time of the year with the kid's jingle-belling and everyone telling you to be of good cheer that millions of people are suffering with the holiday blues? Is the grinch really stealing Christmas?
The holidays can be a time full of joy, special memories, parties and family gatherings. But for many, while decking their halls with red and green, deep inside they are blue. The hap-happiest season of all becomes a time of loneliness, self-evaluation, regret, anxiety, and fear.
O' God, Save Us Now!
"Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' Hosanna in the highest!" (Matthew 21:9). These are the words that greeted Jesus Christ as He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem just days before He was crucified. It is not a typical Christmas theme, however, I think it's perfect, especially for the individual that has been "grinched."
Hosanna is a Hebrew term that is best translated as a prayer – "Save, we beseech Thee" or "Save now." When the people shouted it on the streets of Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago, it was more than a cry of public approval; it was a plea from an oppressed people to their Savior for deliverance. Hosanna is a prayer and a praise because it believes God is able to save, and it believes He is willing, too. It's a word that can be uttered at any time, especially at Christmas time.
When Jesus arrived here on earth, Israel, the apple of God's eye, was suffering incredible oppression and/or depression. Jerusalem had fallen into the hands of the Babylonians and was now in 400+ years of prophetic silence where it seemed as if the Heavens were brass. Perhaps you can identify.
Enter in Simeon and his encounter with "the Consolation of Israel" (Luke 2:25). Simeon was a devout Jewish man who lived in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus' birth. The Holy Spirit told Simeon that he would not die until he laid his eyes on the Lord's Christ, the Consolation of Israel. Therefore, even in the midst of a spiritually dark time, he was seeking the fulfillment of the messianic prophecy that promised Israel would be restored.
This reveals to us the importance of seeking God, especially in the dry times. You see, when times are tough, and they have been for an extended period of time, we may not seek the Lord with the same enthusiasm as before. Perhaps we are tired of the disappointment. Perhaps we are feeling like it's useless and that God doesn't hear, or worse – that God doesn't care about you and your unique situation. If you are experiencing this you might have been "grinched." Scripture reveals that the devil is a liar and a thief that is out to destroy us. He knows that when we seek God we will find the Consolation of Israel and receive comfort from the Wonderful Counselor Himself, therefore he wants to keep us from seeking God.
I want to draw attention to the capitalization on the word consolation found in the New King James Version of the Bible. In the Greek text, Consolation is a noun and speaks of calling near, especially for help. The word is paraklesis (Strong's #3874) and means: consolation, comfort, solace, that which affords comfort and refreshment. Of the Messiah, He is the Divine Counselor – the Divine Comforter. Consolation is a person – Consolation is Jesus. He is the source of true comfort to all.
Simeon was looking for consolation in the midst of his oppression and he was prompted by the Holy Spirit to the temple at the exact time that Mary and Joseph were bringing Baby Jesus there to be dedicated to the Lord. I love Simeon's response when he sees the family – he scoops Jesus up in his arms and blesses God. As I ponder this message and the idea of being "grinched," I realize that the enemy doesn't just try to steal our pursuit but our passion as well. Maybe we are still seeking God, but are we doing it passionately or have circumstances quenched some of our fire along the way? Simeon just went for Jesus with all that was in him and embraced Him with great joy. When the Heavens seem as brass and we are experiencing a spiritual dryness, it becomes vital that we seek the Lord more intentionally. When we look for Jesus, He will be found.
So overjoyed was Simeon that he responded immediately. I can imagine that the shot of electricity that coursed through his heart caused him to spring into spontaneous praise and adoration. He didn't care who was around. He didn't care what people said. His eyes had seen the Salvation of the Lord and no grinch could steal his joy!
On that day in history, Simeon found the Light at the end of his tunnel and he declared that Jesus was a light to lighten both Jew and Gentile (see Luke 2:32). The word he used for light here is "phos" (Strong's #5457) and has some remarkable meanings. First and foremost it is anything emitting light like a lamp, a fire, or a torch. Other things that are included in this word search are heavenly lights – such as what surrounds angels when they appear on earth, and a star. The definition of the word goes on further saying that light reveals truth and knowledge, and enlightens the reasoning process of our minds thus bringing understanding, especially regarding moral and spiritual truth. His Light brings the power to understand His Truth!
Don't Let the Grinch (Enemy) Steal Christmas
It is interesting to note that a beam of light will shine on for eternity just so long as there are no particles to refract it. This is why we can see the light of a star even long after the star has ceased to exist. The reason I mentioned this is because as I studied out this word, I was shocked to learn that it comes from an obsolete word, "phao." Considering that light is eternal, isn't it outrageous that the word phao is now obsolete! Friends, do you see how the grinch is trying to steal Christmas? God sent Jesus at what we call Christmas time because He loves you and He cares for you. Why? Because He loves you and He cares for you! Any lie the devil tosses at us that contradicts this foundational truth is a particle of dust attempting to refract His light, keeping us "grinched" in our dark despair.
I want to close with Acts 16:20-26. Paul and Silas were severely beaten and now find themselves sentenced and in a dungeon with shackles on their feet. Talk about an impossibly dark circumstance! They had a choice to make: either seek God and praise Him passionately, or lie down in their prison cell and give up knowing it will all be over soon. They chose to pray and sing praise. The word for praise here is humneo (Strong's #5214) and means: to sing praise, to celebrate God, and to sing the paschal hymns. With hope and faith in their hearts they prayed for help and celebrated God; yes, celebrated Him in the midst of their dreadful circumstances. The grinch couldn't steal the praise off their lips. The darkness they found themselves in could not overcome the ray of hope that Jesus ignited deep inside of them and "Suddenly there was a great earthquake...and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed" (verse 26).
The grinch doesn't want us to embrace the light in our darkness because he knows that when we do our chains will come off. Beloved, Jesus' light is still shining bright today. He is here NOW to save us from the dark gloom that is all around. Let's push past the grinch and embrace the Light of the world. His truth will comfort us, strengthen us, and lead us every moment of every day. Amen and Amen.
Tiffany Ann Lewis
Dancing with the Flame of the Lord Ministries
Tiffany Ann Lewis is a prophetic worship leader and Bible teacher with a unique focus on Biblical Hebrew, and whose heart has been passionately awakened by a God who sees us in our shortcomings, loves us in spite of it all, and calls out to us so we can live (Ezekiel 16). Her vision is to create an atmosphere in worship where we can meet with God face to face, where the Spirit of God moves freely, releasing emotional, spiritual and physical healing, and igniting a passion for our Heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus. Tiffany Ann has been ministering for over 10 years in prophetic worship throughout the Body of Christ. She worships with her family at Northway Church in Malta, New York, where she serves on the worship team.