“The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:11, NLT).
Hope is one of the three things Paul said would last forever (1 Corinthians 13:13). People have survived many horrible situations by clinging to hope, however small or weak. For thousands of years, the hope of a Savior kept the Hebrews and then the Israelites going. They never gave up on that hope, no matter how many generations passed or what hardships they had to endure.
Jesus was the long anticipated hope come to life, not only for the Jews, but for all of humanity. The birth of a tiny baby wrapped in swaddling cloths gave hope a face, with flesh that could be touched, eyes to look into and a smile to light up the darkness. Today we celebrate the arrival of the Deliverer, Redeemer, Savior, Anointed One and King, God with us, everyone’s hope and the bright, shining star of our hearts. Merry Christmas and God bless you with his love and peace.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT).
A lot of people believe God’s plan for humanity involves only two things: going to heaven if you’re good and going the other way if you’re not. If you’re good, he’s the kindly, bearded old man with goodies for you and if you’re bad, he’s the judge, jury and executioner. But God is not shallow, capricious or temperamental. He’s a real being, with deep thoughts and great love for his creation.
Just as God reassured the captives in Babylon, he also reassures us that his plan does not simply revolve around rewarding the “good” folks and punishing the “bad.” He truly cares about each of us, who we are, our hopes and dreams and our relationships with him and the people we love. His plan for us was and is a good future and a bright, shining hope—Jesus, the hope of eternity for everyone.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15: 13, NLT).
Hope, the feeling things will turn out for the best, is what keeps us going. Without it, we get depressed, do desperate things or give up on life altogether. Hope is very important to our well-being and is what helps us get up every morning.
Sometimes hope is just that – a feeling. But if our hope is in God, it’s not a feeling, it’s a strong conviction that he has our best in mind and will bring it about. Our expectations can be confidently put in him because he is the source of hope and the only one with the power and will to make all our hopes into reality.