Hope gets stirred up during December through the anticipation Christmas gifts.
Kids anticipate their favorite toy or video game under the tree. Families look forward to getting together for their holiday traditions.
Yet in the temporary wrappings of the season, many struggle with broken hope.
Sadness reflects in many grownups’ eyes. Loss, grief, and fear hide beneath the surface of people’s hearts and minds. Emotional darkness seeps in. The superficial happiness of sparkling ribbons and twinkling lights magnifies depression in some. When we get discouraged, disillusioned, and overwhelmed with stress, hope becomes just an ordinary word in a sentimental song.
True hope does not come from our desires or wishes, but from God.
Jesus, the Light of the World, pierced the darkness of the world.
Several of the traditional Christmas carols tell the story of God’s people waiting for the promised Messiah. Here are a few:
- Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, written by Charles Wesley in 1744, expresses this desire.
Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free. From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in Thee. Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art. Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
- O Little Town of Bethlehem, written by Phillip Brooks in 1857, describes the coming of Christ.
O Little Town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie, Above the deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by. Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light, the hope and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
Because of the birth of Jesus, broken hope is restored.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV
He was the Promise that opened the way for our relationship with God the Father.
“Through him (Jesus) you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:21 NIV
God is the source of hope who gives us true hope for today and the future. May He fill you with this gift.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13 NIV.