Looking around it is easy to lose hope. We hear of natural disasters, devastating tragedies, horrid crimes, and cruel abuses. But this hopelessness is not just “out there,” we have difficulties in our own lives. Everything from the stress found in marriage and parenting, to financial burdens, to illnesses and death. We long for hope. It is one of the greatest needs of humanity. We desperately want something to happen that will right all the wrongs, restore our joy, drive out darkness, and give us strength. Praise the Lord there is great news! Our Hope was born over 2,000 years ago on a starry night in a smelly stable filled with the sounds of animals.
Biblical hope is nothing like the “hope” we talk of in our everyday lives. We tend to use that word as expressing a wish. I hope it doesn’t rain on my wedding day. I sure hope my kids behave when we have company over. I hope I can lose 10 pounds during the holiday season. There is no guarantee in those statements. But for the Christian, for those of us who know the Child in the manger, we have a hope that founded on a promise, a pledge from God himself. The hope of the Bible is not wishful thinking but an assurance of things that will happen.
“And his name will be the hope of all the world.” Matthew 12:21
What kind of hope do we have?
This child who was born in a barn and spent his early years as a fugitive from Herod was and is our salvation in more ways than one. We have an certain hope that sin cannot condemn us, it cannot be our master, and it cannot separate us from God. We know that life here on earth is fleeting, and as painful as it can be we have a perfect eternity with Christ to look forward to. Because Christ is our hope we can know for sure that all the promises in scripture will be kept.
Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath; it is called “the rejoicing of hope” (Hebrews 3:6). William Gurnall
Where do you find your hope? Is it in your gifts, your talents, your family and friends? Is it because you are young or maybe that you are older and considered wise? Do you find hope in how much is in your bank account or that you are a disciplined person? This Christmas season let’s meditate on how Jesus is our hope. Consider all the promises in scripture, and rest assured that they are all true and fulfilled in the Son of God. Everything else will fade or fail but Jesus never will. It reminds me of a hymn you may all be familiar with, especially the first and third verse.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
Looking To Jesus,