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Through "The Basics with Beth," Beth Jones is teaching the basics of God's Word to help you live a life you love and love the life you live! 

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Monday through Friday: Fresh, fun and empowering Bible basics to build your faith and impact your life in practical ways. Whether it's a short Bible-based devotional, a funny image to brighten your day or to post on your social meda, a link to our podcast or a nugget of truth -- you will be strengthened, inspired and challenged in the basics of your faith.

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HOPE, JOY & MOCHAS

Jennifer Cole

As someone who lives in Michigan, I am acutely aware that later this week it “officially” becomes winter. I love my state and my city, but there are certain things about this particular season that are not my favorite y’all...like snow, ice, cold temps...okay, that’s pretty much the next 3 months here! Now, I do like to ski and do other fun winter activities to help me enjoy some aspects of this season. But truth be told, what really gets me through this season is what’s on the other side.

You see, spring and summer in Michigan are absolutely, hands-down incredible! And, everyone becomes super outdoorsy...hiking, biking, boating, you name it...and it’s probably because we are extra grateful that it’s so nice out!

Not only is winter season upon us, but also the holiday season. For some people, the holidays come with the same sort of dread or “survival mode” mentality that winter can bring for many of us. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one and the holidays have that twinge of pain now. Maybe you thought you’d be married by now, with 3 kids and a dog, and each holiday you feel sad as that vision of a family gathered around a dining room table is still just a dream. Or, any other host of reasons that people can feel “blue” in the holiday season.

But, I want to encourage you today with the two things that help me get through winter because they can also help you successfully navigate this holiday season -- first, find things you enjoy and do them! And secondly, stir up the hope of the joy that’s on the other side of this season.

So, first -- what are some things you enjoy at the holidays? Do you love Christmas music? Play it shamelessly, anytime, anywhere -- and sing along! Do you love the community spirit that seems to shine so vibrantly around the holidays? Help out at a soup kitchen, provide a holiday dinner to a family in need, or ring a bell for the Salvation Army. There are so many ways to get involved and it’s so uplifting to help others.

And, it doesn’t always have to be big things...what are the little things you enjoy around the holidays? If it’s the peppermint mocha that pops up this time of year, indulge in one! Wrap up with a mocha, a fuzzy blanket and a new book to read. When you focus on the pieces you DO enjoy -- whether they’re big or small -- it will help you navigate this season successfully to the other side.

And secondly, let’s remember how absolutely vital HOPE is! Remind yourself of the great Bible promises that God gives us about hope, such as: “...Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5 NLT). I also like how the Message translation shares that same verse: “...The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.”

You see, in life we will all go through seasons...both the natural ones we endure due to where we live, but also the seasons of life. The Lord knows we’ll go through seasons. We read in His Word: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:... A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 NKJV).

>>The key to navigating through a season that’s difficult is to remember that it’s just that...a season. Temporary. Not forever. And, with the Lord we know the best is yet to come!

You can do this...with the Lord’s help you can find things you enjoy about any season you’re in, and He’ll also help you hold tightly to the hope of the joy He has in store for you after you’ve endured. Friends, I’m praying for all of you who may be struggling in this season. Remember that God is on your side and He has joy prepared for you -- keep your heart and life centered on Him, and then truly the best is yet to come!

Say This: “Father, thank You for always being with me and for me, no matter what season I’m in. Thank You that when I’m in a difficult season, You help me find enjoyable things that can help me endure that season. And, You fill me with incredible hope for the bright future and blessings ahead, which helps me stay strong through this tough season. Thank You that You’re always by my side and for Your great love for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”