Hope

Alice Bones

Hope means different things to different people, especially this time of the year. Parents hope their children make it home for Christmas. Children hope that a special toy will be under the tree. Moms hope they can get the decorating, shopping, and baking done on time. And dads hope that everything stays under budget. But …. what is hope?

Two thousand years ago, the world was a very dark place. Although God was always at work throughout history, there was a period of 400 years between the Old and the New Testament that God seemed to be silent to His people. Prophecy had ceased. Miracles had ceased. This was a span of time that God did not reveal anything new to His people. The once proud Jewish nation had been promised a Messiah, a deliverer, centuries before, but one had never appeared. Oppressors may have changed during that time, but the oppression of the Jewish people had not. People were desperate. The last of the oppressors during the 400 years of silence were the Romans. They were a cruel and brutal group that heavily controlled and taxed the Jewish people. Anticipation of a better tomorrow was overshadowed by the desperation the people felt. Perhaps, God was allowing this dark stage of history to set the stage for His Deliverer.

After 400 years, God broke His silence. One quiet night in a little town called Bethlehem Hope was born. True hope!

We can rejoice because Jesus Christ is our hope. He is our hope against the disappointments of this earthly life. Our hope for a joy filled life regardless of circumstances. Our hope for our Lord’s promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. Our hope that if we embrace all that He has promised, we no longer must live with a “finger-crossing” wish for our lives. When we embrace Jesus Christ as our Hope, we can go forward in this life with a confident and courageous optimism. But most importantly, Jesus gives us the hope of a bright future with Him forever!

This Christmas, remember the hope that God made possible through Jesus Christ.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~Romans 15:13 

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