We are personally ill or have a friend who is battling an illness. We hope for treatment. We hope for a cure. We hope for recovery. We hope for rest.
We have been searching for just the right job. We hope it fits the life of our family. We hope it will bring us satisfaction. We hope our co-workers are nice or at least tolerable.
We are seeking peace in our relationships. We hope they will understand. We hope they will meet us in the middle. We hope for some resolution. We hope the kids will be okay.
Hope. Daily. Seeking. Hope. In Something. In Someone.
This is one reason that I love the Christmas story. Whether you are a believer or not you could not have gone through the Christmas Season and not gazed upon the manger scene.
No matter where you were at, you could not have avoided it. Nearly every street on every block has the manger scene.
Maybe you hoped it had nothing to do with you. Maybe you hoped it had something to do with you. Maybe you hoped it had everything to do with you.
What I love about seeing baby Jesus in the manger is it reminds me of the hope that came.
Jesus Christ came as hope. Hope for the past. Hope for our present. Hope for our future.
Merriam-Webster defines hope as, to cherish a desire with anticipation or to desire with expectation of obtainment.
One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 11:1. Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
It is one of my favorite verses because I feel like it defines me. I have a confident faith in what I hope for, the reality of Jesus Christ. Who came in the flesh to dwell among us, died, was resurrected, and now is seated at the right hand of God interceding on my behalf on a daily basis.
You might ask, how do you know that? How can you say that with confidence? Did you see Christ in the flesh and how can you believe these stories?
My answer is hope. My hope came for me. My hope is someday returning for me. My hope is in Jesus Christ. Hebrews reminds us we can have the assurance of this hope.
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8:24-25
Many people may argue that Jesus Christ is not or was not real. Many argue His existence. After all, with my own two eyes, I have not seen Him. I will not argue that point today. Romans, however, tells us hope is not seeing because who hopes for something they have seen. (I do not hope for my neighbor to get better when I have already seen she is well.)
Hope is the anticipation, the eager perseverance of waiting for what we confidently know to be true.
How can I know and have confidence in this hope?
I have witnessed the hand of God in my life. I have witnessed the rescue of my heart. I have felt the peace that comes only from God and we are called to be of witness to that hope.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
1 Peter 3:15
Quick story. My five-year-old little guy was outside with me. A recycling truck came by my house and as the giant metal arms of the truck were picking up the recycling bin, my guy got scared, ran away from me right past the truck. As he did, the arms came up and the bin on it hit him square in the face. He flew back to the stone surround of the flowerbed with a near miss to the back of his head. There is really no reason why he came out of that accident with a few loose teeth and a scratch on the chin. Everything about that should have gone severely bad.
I saw every second of it. It plays over and over in my mind. Every time, it brings me to tears. Why? My guy was saved.
My God is good. In God, I have hope. Some days, in some situations, it is all I have. It is what makes me persevere when times are tough and I have nothing else to grab or hold onto.
Hope. Hope for my past. Hope in the present. Hope for my future.
What do you do with this hope? Do you grab a hold of this hope for yourself? Do you continue seeking hope in something or someone else? The choice is yours to make.
If you would like to know further how you find hope in Jesus Christ, send an email to email@example.com
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