Wishing you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!
A Christmas reflection from Randy
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11
What a hopeful message the angel exclaimed to shepherds that night over 2000 years ago. I’ve been thinking a lot about hope recently. I find hope to be a critical factor in our faith because it describes what or who we put our faith in. Hope isn’t the object of our faith but an essential attribute of it. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Because we hope in the Lord and His plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), we can be confident in our faith.
So hope in the Lord is much more than mere wishful thinking. I’m a big fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. But as anyone who follows pro basketball knows, the Lakers haven’t been any good for a few years now and they are in a rebuilding process. So when I say, “I hope they win the NBA title this season,” I’m going to be disappointed. But when I put my hope in the Lord, the Bible says I’ll never be disappointed (Romans 5:1-5 & Isaiah 49:23).
In the Old Testament, hope is often interchanged with trust and waiting.
… but those who hope (trust or wait) in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31
Hope carries with it a “waiting with expectancy.” Note that three times after “hoping” in the Lord, we are told things WILL happen. There is no wavering. Isaiah wrote, with assurance, that the object of our faith (the Lord), in whom we put our hope, can be trusted to renew our strength.
Hope in the New Testament adds the element of conviction.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. – Hebrews 6:19
I’m reminded of these words from the great hymn of the church by Edward Mote: My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Wherever you are today, whatever your situation this holiday season, know, with confidence, that our God can be trusted. Remember what the angel said to the shepherds, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Therefore, have hope!