“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
“His Name will be the Hope of all the world.” Matthew 12:21
- The Christmas season is here! The celebration of Jesus’ birth is upon us! Take time to be intentional with your Savior in these next weeks. This season is infinitely more meaningful when our hearts and minds are focused on Jesus!
- Read Romans 15:12-13 and write verse 13 in your journal. We are going to meditate on the one true Source of hope today!
Hope: A Light in the Darkness this Christmas
Take a glance at humanity and you will see a people fraught with darkness, loneliness, and sadness. However, casting His brilliant light of love over all is our Savior! Jesus is the One who brings hope in the darkness this Christmas (Matthew 4:16). So, we quiet our heart before our Redeemer and light the first candle of Advent: the candle of hope, which represents all the waiting and the longing in our hearts for a Deliverer. We know our Rescuer has come so many years ago, and He will return again (John 14:3)! Therefore, this Christmas we choose hope. We live hope-filled lives in the mess and stress of today, because God is working in us and through us (Philippians 2:13).
Our beautiful Savior promises that He will work all things together for our good and for His ultimate glory (Romans 8:28). In fact, He has already accomplished His good for us through His atoning sacrifice. In whatever situation we find ourselves as believers, He has already delivered us (Colossians 1:13-14). The only appropriate response to that most gracious gift is full surrender of our hearts, hurts, and lives. He wants all of you, dear sister, and through you He will convey His message of hope to others.
You see, this Christmas is not about you, nor is it about me. It is about Him. It is about bowing our knee in surrender to Jesus and delivering the message of His hope to those with whom we struggle to see eye-to-eye. It is about giving the hurt in our heart to the only Healer who can restore relationships and bring unity.
When faced with challenging people, we find hope when we allow ourselves to see them through the eyes of Christ (Galatians 6:10). With humility, we look into the pool of sadness that encompasses their soul, and we can allow our heart to break for them instead of because of them. When we know that their treatment or attitude toward us is a result of some deep heart-wound, we can pray for them in a way that entreats the Lord to open heaven and shower them with the compassion and love of Jesus. We know it is only through the gift of Christ that hearts can be healed and peace can triumph. So, just as Jesus brings hope to our heart at Christmas, our love can become the bearer of His hope to those around us.
Moreover, as you deliver hope to the lives of others, Jesus will deliver you. As you die to your expectations, selfishness, and hurts, you are renewed by the one who is fully God yet fully man—the One who was born over two-thousand years ago, who lived His life on earth as an example to us, and who died in our place that we may live in fullness and joy in spite of our circumstances.
If you feel discouraged this Christmas, my friend, I ask that you would seek the One who lights a flicker of hope in our dim hearts and asks us to trust Him as He fans the flame. Jesus is the long- awaited Author of our hope (Romans 15:12)! If you are struggling with a child, spouse, parent, or friend, consider that person’s heart. Pray blessing over that person and let yourself sympathize as you are filled with renewed love and compassion. Indeed, granting others the gift of hope is perhaps the greatest present you will give this Christmas!
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Is there anyone in your life with whom you are currently struggling? Will you lay your life down before Jesus today? Can you pray that the Lord will cover that person in His love this Christmas, that he or she would see his or her value and worth in Jesus, and that God would bring blessing and peace to that person’s life?
Help your children to be hope bearers in their world too! As they spend time together or with extended family this Christmas, there are sure to be conflicts. Discuss how each family member is a beautiful creation of the Lord and how we are to serve Jesus by honoring those around us. Each time a conflict arises, help your children seek peace immediately. Discuss the issue while helping each child use words that bring honor and show love to his or her sibling or family member. Encourage your child to find a tangible way to make things right and bring hope to those with whom he or she has conflict this Christmas. (For example: help him serve his sibling first, do something to communicate love, use words that help instead of hurt.)