12 Christmas Gifts from Heaven #7 – Hope:
“And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope…Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:12-13).
“Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie, Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by. Yet in the dark streets shineth, the everlasting light, The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” In the words of this classic Christmas Carol, we see into the old dark streets of the little town of Bethlehem. With the arrival of the Christ-child, came the one would in whom we would put our hope—the God of hope Himself. This is the eighth Christmas gift from Heaven—hope.
“When we talk about the kind of hope Jesus brings to us because of Christmas, we’re not talking about some lightweight, frail, and flimsy emotional feeling that gets tossed with the discarded wrapping paper. No, the Bible’s brand of hope is very different. This is a hope shot through with confidence. This is hope so muscular it can pull you out of a deep pit. This is hope so powerful it can anchor your life—keeping you secure in the highest waves and strongest storms. This is hope stronger than death—a hope upon which you’d stake your life…and your eternity.” (Ron Mehl, Love Found a Way).
When we speak of the hope of Christmas, we are not speaking of an emotional longing or a wishing for something that we don’t know whether or not we’ll get. It’s not merely a, “I hope I get such-and-such for Christmas.” Rather, it is an absolute confidence in the promises of a faithful God! “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” (Hebrews 6:19). Ron Mehl says that, “Hope tells us that no matter what our situation, we can rest in the hands of a sovereign God who loves us very much.” What is the hope we have in God? We have hope that He has a plan for our lives. We have hope that He answers our prayers, and we have hope that He knows exactly what we need!
The Bible tells us that God has promised us many things that we hope for. He has given us the promise of the hope of salvation and eternal life, we look for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, and we have Christ IN US, the hope of glory. Hope is a powerful force. We don’t have to worry or wonder what the future holds, because we know the One who holds the future in His hands! Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God. The eighth Christmas gift from Heaven that God has given to us is that of hope. This Christmas Season, put your hope in the Lord, for He is your helper, your hiding place, and your shield.
Pastor Chris Jordan