Today’s Scripture: For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. 1 Peter 2:20–23

Christmas is over, and now it’s time to get back to our regular routines. As we return to the pressures of our jobs, churches, and families, we will be confronted with the same difficult people who troubled us before the season began. Is the spirit of Christmas enough to sustain us when we are mistreated the day afterward?

If Christmas was all about singing “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls,” eating good food (and gaining lots of weight), exchanging gifts (and getting in debt), and pretending that everything is perfect in the world, then no; we couldn’t make it. The first trip to the doctor after the holiday season, the first big credit card bill, the first news of tragedy, or the first person who rubbed us the wrong way would burst that bubble in a heartbeat.

Christians know the joy of the season really comes from Christ, but we are not immune to unjust treatment. Our sustaining comfort amidst injustice comes when we acknowledge our Savior is in control and cast our burdens upon Him. This gives us the strength to endure persecution and hardship with patience and faith. God will, in turn, repay tribulation to those who have troubled us (2 Thessalonians 1:6).

Regardless of what today brings, remember your Savior is in complete control of the situation. When you are hurt or unjustly blamed, He wants you to tell Him about it. Determine you will patiently endure those hardships you cannot control with faith in His righteous judgment. This will give you a constant supply of joy always, so your Christmas lasts throughout the year.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder