Christmas Hope for Heavy Hearts

Dr. Tim AllchinFor Those Seeking Hope3 Comments

Many entered 2023 with optimism that a hard season of suffering was behind them and that better days were ahead.

For some, this optimism was centered on personal concerns, perhaps in your own family or your soul. For others, it was for matters of global concern, that the dangers of plagues and politics seemed to be moving in a better direction.

Looking around at the reality during year-end, many could easily conclude that this year is ending heavier than it started.

Heaviness is undoubtedly how Mary and Joseph felt on their passage to Bethlehem. Heavy because of the physical exhaustion of pregnancy and travel, heavy because of the political frustration of a ruling class that seemed not to care, and heavy because of the anxiety of ongoing uncertainty with God’s plan.

As counselors, we often meet with people who say something like, “If God has a plan, I’m not seeing it. My health, my singleness, my addiction, my family unity – If God can heal these things, why hasn’t He yet?”

It feels heavy to doubt that God cares enough to intervene. While there is a time for heaviness, the hope Jesus brings pushes back against the weariness of this world, offering help and healing to all who trust Him. Often, trusting Him doesn’t change our circumstances immediately, but it does change our future eternally. In between the immediate and the eternal, God calls us to live a life of purpose, even when the heaviness of life weighs us down.

When life feels difficult, we need to remember three ways Jesus taught us to deal with heavy hearts.

Jesus taught us it is helpful to grieve with Him.

Jesus lets us in on His mindset towards heavy hearts throughout the gospels: He grieved! When Jesus saw the world around us and the pain we encountered – He grieved intensely.

Consider Hebrews 5:7-9, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. [8] Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. [9] And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.”

Jesus isn’t unmoved by our sadness and pain or the sad state of this world. When and how He intervenes, though, is an eternal mystery we must accept by faith.

As Jesus walked this earth, and even as He comforts us currently, He wants us to know that He grieves and invites us to grieve with Him. When we grieve with Him and to Him, He meets us there and gives us hope for our heavy hearts.

Jesus taught us it is necessary to rest like Him.

Over and over throughout the gospels, we see a weary Jesus, weighed down by the burdens of a heavy world around Him, seeking time away from the burdens of life to rest.

Perhaps Christmas for you isn’t going to be what you hoped, or maybe the preparations for the Christmas season have you exhausted already. Taking time to rest is an act of faith to deal with the heaviness of this world.

While you sleep, God is watching over you. While you rest, you are trusting God to provide for your needs. Rest is an act of humility that Jesus modeled from creation through His earthly ministry. When we have a heavy heart, it’s an act of faith to rest and trust God with our angst.

Mark 6:31 records these words of Jesus, “And he said to them, Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure (time) even to eat.”

This Christmas season, take some time to rest from the weariness of your schedule and the frustrations of this world. Rest confident that God is awake and active and that He understands what you need.

Jesus taught us it is re-energizing to abide in Him.

When we are connected to Jesus, our strength and vitality grow. When we disconnect, we become like a leaf or flower disconnected from its source of life.

During this Christmas season, take time to connect with family and friends and, more importantly, connect with Jesus. Take time to thank Him, worship Him, and share with Him the heaviness on your heart.

John 15:4–5 reminds us of this truth, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. [5] I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Our heavy hearts can either drive us into unhealthy places apart from God or remind us to turn to Him.


Mary and Joseph brought Jesus into a world of great uncertainty and turmoil, but Jesus changed the world as He faithfully fulfilled the Father’s plan of redemption.

As we finish out this year, let’s not forget that we have a God who gives us hope. He modeled that hope for us, both on that Christmas night and in every night since.

Even if your life feels heavy, don’t lose heart. God works in ways we can never imagine!

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3 Comments on “Christmas Hope for Heavy Hearts”

  1. Thanks for the reminding that in Christ is hope, what blessing grace hope is for our weary souls

  2. God evening pastor
    Thank you for the message on Christmas Hope. I am strengthen and encouraged not to lose heart.

    Question do teach this counselling course in UK? I would like to do this course.

    God bless.
    Lurline Halstead

  3. A good reminder that we have a God who listens and hears our cries. He is faithful and merciful.

    God Bless,
    Jeff Martin

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