As we look forward to Christmas Day, Peter Davey writes about our need for hope and where we can find it.
… a word we have heard repeatedly through 2020-21. All around the world people are crying out for HOPE, desperate for some certainty in the constantly shifting morass of life.
To have even a little hope enables you to carry on through difficulties or pain, even risking your life in the hope of a better future!
What is Hope?
A dictionary defines hope as “a desire yet to be fulfilled, an anticipated possibility without certainty”, whilst Biblical hope is a confident expectation that “something will happen because God has promised it.”
Confident Hope in God’s promise inspired…
– Zechariah and Elizabeth to give birth to John and prophesy his future ministry and blessing (Luke 1. 5-23, 67-80)
– Mary to believe the angel and allow the conception of Jesus (Lk 1.26-38)
– Elizabeth to rejoice at Mary’s news and prophesy blessing (Lk 1.39-45)
– Joseph to accept Mary as his wife and obey the subsequent words of the angelic warnings (Matt 1.19-25; 2.13-15)
– Shepherds to respond to the wonderful angelic hosts and accept the imperative to become the first people to worship Jesus! (Luke 2.8-21)
– Wise men from the East to follow a star for months(!) until they arrived the place where they found the infant Jesus and worshipped him. They then obeyed the dream and went back another way! (Matt 2.1-12)
– Simeon to believe the specific revelation that he would not die before he had seen ‘the Lord’s Christ’ (Luke 2.25-32-35) and so he spoke blessing on Mary and Joseph.
– Anna a prophetess was one of a number who were stirred to anticipate ‘the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2.36-39) She was in the temple at ‘just the right time’.
These saw the fulfilment of what they had been hoping for in the birth of JESUS, the Messiah prophesied for generations. Their Hope and ours today is a person.
“You can’t snuff out Hope, you can’t smother out Hope, you can’t stamp out Hope – because He, Hope of the world is coming… … What you don’t know how to live through, Hope Himself will carry you through. You don’t need a reason to hope — you only need the Person of Jesus.” (Ann Voscamp)
Our Hope is …
– God’s gift … an outworking of God’s love poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Rom 5.3-5; Rom 15.13)
– an anchor … to keep us safe and secure through all life’s turmoil and trials -fixed by Jesus in the place of ultimate power and victory (Rom 6.19-20)
– our motivation … to keep praying and not let go (not give up hope)! (Luke 18.1) It is not a vague desire or irrational fixation but is based on the character of God.
– enduring … beyond the limits of time (1Cor 15.51), (2Peter 3.1-14)
It is the presence of Jesus in the Holy Spirit which gives us comfort, endurance, and hope.
His astounding incarnation as a baby in the manger is the guarantee of what we hope for the assurance of what is to come. (Heb 11.1-2; 1Cor 15.19-20)
So let us ‘overflow with hope’ (Rom 15.13).
‘Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy’ (Rom 12.12 TPT)
May 2022 be for you “a year of confident hope!”
Thank you Peter.
And thank you Allison for the use of your original artwork.
Artwork used with permission © Allison Teal Lewis www.tealpatrickart.com