I have always loved the word “hope.” Webster defines it as “to cherish a desire with anticipation.”
As a Christian, my hope has been put in God. In His Word. In His promises. In a future with Him, free from worry, sin, and the fears of this world.
Christmas is a time in which there is much rejoicing. A time when families get together to celebrate a variety of different things. A time of gathering, love, good will, and hope.
As Christians, at Christmas time, our hope is put into the promises of the baby Jesus. We remember that Jesus came to earth in such a humble manner. Being born in a stable, (Did your mom ever ask you if you were born in a barn? Jesus could have said yes to that one!) under lowly circumstances, even though He was, and is, the great Son of God.
But the biggest reason we celebrate hope at Christmas is because we are “anticipating” the real miracle. The miracle of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is because of that miracle that Jesus is important and not just another man. His birth was unusual. But his death was extraordinary!
Today, my heart is not doing a good job of rejoicing in this good news. It grieves over the tragedies of this world. My heart yearns to comfort those who are mourning during this time of joy. But there really is no way that I can do that.
I am also struggling as I am soon to deliver my third baby. How can I bring a baby into such a tragic, fallen world? How do I protect my children from the horrors that are prevalent in today’s society? The terrors that seem to keep growing?
My only comfort is my hope. My hope that God has better in mind for my children. Better in mind for the world. The He mourns with those who are hurting. That He grieves over the short lives the children lived. And that He holds each and every person in the palm of His hands.
I do not believe that He “allowed” this to happen. But we are in a fallen world. A world that NEEDS Him. We are blind to that. Being blind to that allows the enemy to have reign over us.
But He will conquer! He has promised to return again. He has promised to take us to a better place where there will be no hurt or pain, no illnesses or shootings. A place of perfection. A place He desired for us all along.
And so, in light of the tragedies our world has been faced with, I am still full of hope. Hope for the good that is to come. Hope that He will not let us down. Hope that God is ultimately in control and desires what is best for us.
Find hope, my friends. Find a reason to anticipate the future. And cling to it! Keep it close to your heart and never let it go.
From the words of Jesus, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
May you find that peace and hope of God, that is not of this world but of Him. Perfect in every way.
I leave you with a passage from 2 Corinthians 4 (emphasis added) that I think is very fitting. I pray that it will touch your heart today.
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.