Today, for the first time, I really heard the words of a song that I had played and listened to over and over again, for more than fifteen Christmases. I was about to leave home, with my son in tow, and I said to him, “we are going to play a Christmas carol and I want us to listen to it. No talking, please.” And he said “OK mum”. Then I pushed the play button on Bishop T. D. Jakes Follow the Star (sang by Dorinda Clark-Cole).The song starts with an intro, which is an exchange between Bishop Jakes and his son, Dexter. It goes like this:

Dexter: Daddy, I said my prayers, but how do I know God is there?

Bishop: Dexter, God is everywhere, everywhere.

Dexter: And Daddy..

Bishop: Unhum?

Dexter: Where is God?

Bishop: He is above you. He is in the wind, He is in the waves, He is everywhere. Just look for Him.

Dexter: And how can I find Him?

Bishop: Son, in the darkness, in the struggles, if you just look up ..

Dexter: Yes sir.

Bishop: .and follow the star

Bishop’s third and fourth responses are all we need to know to be encouraged not only in this season, but at all times especially as we carry on into a new year, following the challenges that have plagued the world in general and my country Nigeria in particular, this year 2022.

As believers we were never promised a hitch free journey on this side of eternity. Hear what Jesus said. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV Jesus states clearly here that we will have trouble in this world. But in the very next breath He encourages us by saying He has already overcome the world. To overcome is to be triumphant or to have success over a challenge, a trial or a problem.

So as the Christmas season is upon us again, let us know that whatever came up against us in the past eleven months will not take over us. That will never happen because Jesus has already overcome the world. We must find Jesus in the struggle because He is there. His name is called Immanuel, which means God with us. The prophet Isaiah encourages us thus:  Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; speak a word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.” Isaiah 8: 10 ESV How do we find Him in the midst of disappointment, grief, lack, pain and rejection? How do we find Him as darkness is slowly threatening to take over? We will find Him in His word. All the help and encouragement we need is there. Let us quit running around and settle down to His word. He will speak peace to us there. He will speak joy to us there. The world cannot give us the peace that we need at this time; and we do need that peace. Or how else can we live with the growing insecurity in the land?  “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.John 14: 27 NLT Jesus tells us that with the peace He gives, there will be no need to fear.

Now more than ever, the word of God should be our anchor and our stay. It will keep us grounded in the midst of the turmoil all about us. Bishop Jakes told his son to look up and follow the star. The wise men looked up and followed the star. The star led them to Jesus. Let us do the same today. Let us find our way to Jesus and keep looking up to Him. “They looked unto him, and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed.” Psalms 34: 5 KJV When we look up to Jesus, what we are really saying is that we trust Him to take charge, even if it looks bleak. And He will never fail us.