Embracing Grace This Christmas
Christmas is one of Pastor Prince’s favorite times of the year and here in this special interview, he shares some of his thoughts about this season. We hope this feature will bless you and encourage you, especially if you’re currently going through a difficult season. We pray you’ll be strengthened to see how you can step into and enjoy the Lord’s abundant grace and deep, abiding love for you—not just during this Christmas season, but also throughout the year!
JP: We would usually like to gather around the piano with our loved ones and friends for a time of caroling—my favorite songs are timeless classics like Silent Night, O Holy Night, and Joy to the World. But beyond the holiday traditions, I love how Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus and His great love for us. He came such a long way from heaven to earth for us, and humbled Himself to be born as a baby so He could walk among us as Immanuel, feel the whole gamut of human emotions, and eventually die on the cross for our sins. Doesn’t that just warm your heart?
JP: Because I just love the Word of God, Bibles are always special gifts to me. And of all the Bibles I’ve received, the one that is most special would be my Dad’s Bible. He gave it to me just before he went home to the Lord. It’s got his notes and inscriptions, and his thoughts as he was studying the Word. I can just see him reading the Word, meditating on it, and feeling refreshed and blessed . . . it just brings back such precious memories for me.
JP: I’d like to encourage anyone going through a difficult time this season with this message: Wherever you are, the Lord loves you. He is there with you in your pain and when you feel all alone. There’s a beautiful promise in Hebrews 13:5 that reminds us of how He will never ever leave nor forsake us. If you’re broken-hearted, grieving, or crushed in spirit, the Lord is so near you. He is your strength and your support. Whatever your situation, turn your eyes upon Jesus, and let Him be your very present help, and the glory and lifter of your head.
If you’re hurting, learn also to draw comfort and strength from the body of Christ by being part of a local church community. There is a special anointing that is released when God’s children gather together—even just two or three of us (Matt. 18:20). Don’t wait for Christmas to be connected. The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone, but with kingdom friends.
JP: Grace is God’s favor that’s unmerited, unearned, and undeserved. Knowing that the Lord’s grace is available to you in every season of life—whether you’re on a mountain high or valley low—opens the door for you to receive help, encouragement, healing, and all that you need from Him in every situation. When we know it is not by virtue of our goodness, but by His goodness, that’s when we allow Him to carry us through every season of life.
JP: Transformation comes when we understand our true identity in Christ. The world might place labels on you that say you’re a nobody. A failure. An addict. But when you identify yourself as the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21), which means that you have right standing with God that doesn’t depend upon your good behavior, that in itself is transformative.
You see, true transformation isn’t just about modifying your behavior, but changing your very beliefs—because right believing always leads to right living. If you believe right that as a believer, you’re the righteousness of God in Christ and that this righteousness is a gift that cannot be revoked, it’s only a matter of time before you start living a godly life and manifest the fruits of the Spirit. It’s a matter of time before you see yourself break free from destructive habits and see victory in areas of defeat.
JP: The truth is, it’s so easy to get into ministry-, husband-, or parent-mode, be very active in solving problems, and forget to rest. So the Lord would often remind me of the importance of honoring the principle of the Sabbath—which is setting aside at least one day of the week to rest.
For believers today, that’s a Sunday, the day of our Lord Jesus’ resurrection 2,000 years ago. But since I usually preach on Sundays, I would observe my rest day on Mondays instead—and Wendy and I have an agreement to not discuss any heavy stuff that day.
We believe that as we rest, God works on our behalf. Since our hands are so small compared to the Lord’s, can we let Him fight our battles instead of trying to win them by our arm of flesh? While we may have many responsibilities in life, the most important response we need to have, is to God’s grace, which is always more than enough for all our needs.
JP: Worry and anxiety can creep up on us so insidiously. And when that happens, it’s important for us who are learning to rest in the Lord not to turn it into something legalistic and condemning. Each time the devil throws you a worrisome thought, you throw it to Jesus as quickly as possible. You don’t want to hold on to it because it’s like poison.
In the same way, in your homes, when you catch one another being anxious, keep it fun and light-hearted, make it a game every day to cast your cares to Him, and remind each other not to let our hearts be troubled. I remember how one day as we were driving, Wendy and I were having a pretty heavy discussion about some news we had just heard. Then from the back seat of the car, our son, Justin, who was about 6 years old at that time, suddenly piped up cheekily, “Live the let-go life, man!” We burst out laughing at that. It was such a timely reminder to live the let-go life!
JP: One of my heroes is George Müller, a great man of faith and Christian evangelist. Over his lifetime, he established 117 Christian schools, distributed 285,000 Bibles, funded more than 400 missionaries, cared for over 10,000 orphans, and preached to more than 3 million people.
George Müller once shared, “For more than 70 years, I have not been anxious.” He was a man who truly lived the let-go life! Sometimes, when there was no food for his orphanages, he would get the children to pray together—and provisions would arrive at their door.
I love how Müller had the habit of reading the Scriptures and meditating on the Word first thing every morning, and just letting his soul be happy in the Lord. That was the secret to his long life of 93 years, and he was a healthy and joyful man till the very end. He’s definitely someone who has influenced my journey of faith in a profound way.
JP: More than accomplishments, what is really precious to me is the overwhelming sense of privilege at having this opportunity to preach the gospel of grace. It’s really humbling to read testimony after testimony of how people are healed, marriages are restored, and people are being set free from addictions through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus.
For example, we received a precious testimony from a woman who was delivered from her drug addiction after hearing the gospel preached from our ministry and reading my book, The Power of Right Believing. She said, “I realized addiction is such a lie. I am a righteous woman through the blood of Jesus.”
Knowing this truth about her righteousness in Christ empowered her to tell many other women addicted to heroin how to experience their freedom too. And the Lord showed up and changed their lives as well! She still keeps up with these women regularly, and they are still sober.
What a beautiful testimony, amen? I wish I could share with you here more stories of lives being transformed by grace, but you can read them all at JosephPrince.org/praisereports.
JP: I just want to continue to be faithful with what the Lord has placed in my hands. Above all the future plans we have for the ministry, my heart is for more people to discover the gospel of grace. Time is of the essence and there are so many more precious people who still need to hear the gospel and let the love of Christ transform their lives from the inside out!
Adapted from a Q&A feature that first appeared in Daystar.com/JosephPrince.