Christmas is just one week away. It is supposed to be the most joyful of seasons, with carols and shopping and family time, which means lots of eating, playing of games and sharing of gifts.

But for many, this Christmas season is gearing to be bleak due to the terrible economy and annoying restrictions. The COVID-19 pandemic which almost ruined 2020 hasn’t entirely gone away and the authorities in some countries are reimposing lockdowns, thereby destroying businesses and preventing the gatherings that add warmth and festivity to the season. The economic fallout from the pandemic added to poor management of resources and terrible planning have meant that the purchasing power of many who are lucky to be employed has been seriously eroded.

In Nigeria, inflation has reached unprecedented levels with increase in electricity tariffs and fuel skyrocketing prices across board. Food is also scarce due to the heinous activities of terrorists, herdsmen and kidnappers, the fear of whom prevents farmers from tending and harvesting their crops. Continued border closure means that whatever food is smuggled in is sold at prohibitive prices.

Coming home to yours truly, the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the national body of university lecturers in federal employ has entered its 10th month with lecturers who have remained steadfast in the struggle suffering a suspension of their salaries for six months now. Many lecturers have even.expressed their doubts about the sincerity of the government party in the ongoing negotiations in which the sessions usually end inconclusively. So it’s a doom and gloom picture all around if you go by what your eyes can see.

But are we to allow these circumstances ruin the season for us? I say an emphatic “NO” for myself.When we consider the importance of what we celebrate at Christmas- the birth of Christ our Saviour who came to die for our sins and reconcile us to God, we’ll see we have every reason to be joyful. If Christ had not been born, economic hardship and sickness will be the least of our worries because we would be candidates for eternal damnation.

In Ecclesiastes 9:4, the Bible reminds us that, “Anyone who is among the living has hope.” Things may not be the way we want them today, but we can trust God for a better tomorrow. So we can put on our happy face regardless of our circumstances and determine to make this a joyful Christmas. It’s not about the size of our bank account and how much material goods we have at home, it’s having a state of mind that comes from knowing we serve a loving God who will never forsake us.

Perhaps, no one expresses this attitude better than the prophet Habakkuk:

“17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Habakkuk was obviously living at a time of intense hardship and economic uncertainty, but he decided to look beyond whatever he may be lacking to be joyful in God his Saviour. Why would he do this? Verse 19 gives the answer.

“19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”

Habakkuk was painting a picture of himself as a winner regardless of limiting circumstances because he knew that the Sovereign Lord was his strength. If you’re a child of God, the same is true of you. The Maker of the heavens and the earth is your fortress and sustainer. Therefore, nothing can crush you. You are a winner. You are an overcomer. That is enough reason to give God glory and rejoice this Christmas.

When you hear the carol, “Joy to the world,” open your heart and receive that joy. Then go out and spread it.

Oh yes, we can make it a merry Christmas if we choose to, and I most certainly do!

You can start right away by singing Isaac Watts’ “Joy to the world” along with Pentatonix in their official video of the song below!

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Lyrics of “Joy to the world”

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

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  • Awforkansi Kamsi

    I hope everyone finds joy and hope in this beautiful celebration. Wishing You and everyone a Merry Christmas in advance

  • Amaugo, Stephanie Chidinma

    I won’t allow these circumstances ruin the season for me. Very encouraging post! Thank you so much Ma!

  • Abah Okpe Gabriel

    This is just the perfect piece of encouragement some of us are seeking for especially in this time of hardship, everything just seems as if Jesus didn’t wanna celebrate his birthday this year. (laughs) we pray to God to see us through this year and beyond for we believe in his miraculous name.
    Thank you so much ma, I really got comforted and felt so relieved after reading through. Thank you so much ma and merry Christmas and happy new year in Addy

  • Ossai Chidimma Linda

    This Christmas seems gloomy but thanks to your words of encouragement inspired by God that has helped in lifting my spirit. Hopefully, all is made well.

  • Ossai Chidimma Linda

    Merry Christmas and a pleasant new year to you in advance.

  • Melekwe Anthony

    I agree! The Covid-19 pandemic has been terrible. Students like me are stranded and many people have lost their jobs or are currently earning 15% of what they are supposed to.

    But despite all the sad stories in 2020, I have one testimony that would make my Christmas Merry. My Aunt tested positive with Covid-19 for two months in a country where infected die by thousands daily. Luckily, it was a mild case and she is ‘negative’ today.

    Seasonal Compliments!

  • Etiowo Obangham Mbang

    Thank you so much ma. There are so many reasons to be sad. But I choose to be happy. The Joy of the Lord is my strength. God bless you so much ma

  • Ejiofor Emmanuel

    Thank you for this encouraging words. Being alive gives us every reason to praise God despite 2020 being a trying time. Merry Christmas ma’am

    • Chidebe uchechukwu cyprian

      Ma, I really enjoy and appreciate your message. It is very important to celebrate the commemoration of the birth of our lord jesus christ which is very significant in every christian’s life. In as much as we have different predicaments facing the world today, we still have a cause to celebrate his coming because he came that we might gain salvation and earn enternal life. Thank you so much Ma, Happy Christmas in arreaas.

  • Obi Chisom Vanessa

    Even though it isn’t the Christmas period anymore, its still a word of encouragement one which we should carry with us in the beginning of a new year and resumption of school. I tried my best to have a Merry Christmas, I hope you did to.
    Thanks Aunty Edìth

  • chukwuneke adaeze jennifer

    very encouraging maam cause many of us had been through our worst time last year but God and our familes kept us strong and going thank you for your kind words of inspiration.

  • Chidebe uchechukwu cyprian

    Ma, I really appreciate your good work. you are just an evidence of God’s blessings and sufficient grace. Keeping doing the good work, more power to your elbow.

  • Even though Christmas has passed but however gloomy, it is important that we celebrate the birth of Christ.

  • Eze Esther Nzubechukwu

    Nice one
    Christmas is a season to celebrate and be joyful, we shouldn’t allow circumstances surrounding make us loose the true nature of this beautiful season

  • Ekeh Maryann C

    Great joy it is that our saviour, to reconcile us with the father, stepped into this dark world and shine his light

  • Nwafor Cynthia Chinenyenwa

    A very rejuvenating and energizing article in the midst of our gloomy and unknown future. The Bible passage as well is calming and gives hope for the future

  • Victoria Chigere

    I really admire your write ups. They are inspirational and also educational

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