I feel the weight of my limitations creeping in as December begins. Will I ever complete my to-do list? Will I run low on grace for my relatives as I host and attend large family gatherings? Will I dominate conversations at Christmas parties instead of drawing my friends into relationship? Will I be diligent to complete an Advent devotional? As I take stock of the year, have I done enough this year to meet all my goals? Have I really been sanctified enough—or at all?
December is a month that amplifies insecurities. Between all the Christmas celebrations, taking stock of our past year, and goal-planning for next year, old and buried insecurities tend to push their way to the surface. Under the intense pressure of this season, financial, social, relational, or personal insecurities leave us aching for something steadfast and reliable.
In the midst of this shakiness, God is the only steadfast anchor for your soul. In His unchangeable nature, by the sealing of the Holy Spirit, and through Jesus the better High Priest, we find true security that cannot be shaken.
We are secure in the unchangeable character of God.
During a season of change and transition, God remains unchangeable. When God promised Abraham that He would bless the world through him, it was God alone who was responsible for fulfilling the promise.
For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself. . . . So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath. (Heb. 6:13, 17)
God could swear on nothing more sure and certain than Himself and His good purpose. From our vantage point, we know that what God promised and purposed was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection are the ultimate proof that God never changes. When our circumstances feel out of our control or our own souls feel shaky, we can put our hope in the unchanging character, promises, and purpose of God.
We are secure by the work of the Holy Spirit.
If you haven't met your goals or feel like you haven't made any spiritual progress this past year, remember that your salvation is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit. We desire to sprint toward holiness, but our sanctification is more often a long, slow crawl in the right direction. Fight your sin, but don't become despondent if you’re still fighting the same sin that you were at the beginning of last year. Instead, make note of the small ways you have grown in holiness. If you are pursuing an intimate relationship with God through prayer and His Word, I can guarantee you that growth is happening. Even better, the Holy Spirit guarantees it (2 Cor. 1:22). Don’t grow weary in your battle for holiness, keep fighting by resting on this promise: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
We are secure in Jesus, the better High Priest.
As we celebrate Christmas, we are often forced to face broken relationships. In the tabernacle and temple, a curtain hung to keep the Israelites (even the high priest, except for one day of the year) out of the Holy of Holies where the presence of God dwelled. Because of the atoning work of Jesus—our better High Priest—our hope now “enters into the inner place behind the curtain” (Heb. 6:19). By Jesus’ blood we can enter into God’s presence. We no longer need a priest as a mediator; we can live in intimate communion with our most Holy God. Christmas may be a season where you cannot avoid broken relationships, but it is also the season when we celebrate that our most important relationship is no longer broken. By the work of Christ, we have the security of a personal relationship with God in the brokenness of this world.
Hold Fast to Unshakeable Hope
No matter what insecurities you face this season, God offers an unshakeable promise to calm your anxieties and keep your soul safe in His tender care.
When your ability to be a good wife, mom, and friend feels shaky, you can rely on being counted as righteous in Christ as a steadfast anchor for your identity.
When your family life is tumultuous, you have your adoption as a child of God as the steadfast anchor for your desire for love and acceptance.
When you cannot seem to finish even one task on your lengthy to-do list, you can rest in the steadfast anchor of the finished work of Christ.
When your finances don’t stretch far enough for frivolities, your steadfast anchor is a heavenly Father who cares for your physical needs more than for lilies or sparrows.
When your mind is filled with concerns about the opinions of others, you have a steadfast anchor in your unchangeable God whose opinion of you rests on who you are in Christ.
When you’re unsure of what next year will look like, your steadfast anchor is Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
When you look back at your year and feel like you’ve failed at meeting last year’s goals and keeping last year’s commitments, your steadfast anchor is all the small ways the Holy Spirit has been at work within your life.
When your insecurities build up, hold fast to the unshakeable hope—your sure and steadfast anchor of the soul—God with you and God within you.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Heb. 6:19–20)