The God of Hope
by Mindy Kiker
As we approach the Christmas season, we prepare our hearts to celebrate the gift of Immanuel, God with us. Are you expectant that Jesus is coming, or are you burdened by all that has to be done between now and December 25th? We invite you to anticipate with us the arrival of Christ. We begin our anticipation by asking God to place in our hearts a glimmer of hope.
In Romans 15:13, we are promised that as we trust in God, He fills us to overflowing. That’s not a few drops of hope, but a flood. The seasons, struggles and storms of life may leave us feeling parched and weary, but He gives us joy and peace more powerful than our circumstances. When Jesus arrives, His joy and peace arrive too.
Can you picture your life o-v-e-r-f-l-o-w-i-n-g with hope, joy, and peace? I will be honest: when I set my eyes on the struggles and sufferings of this world, I lose my confidence. I doubt that I can overflow with joy and peace. Hope feels like foolish wishful thinking.
Hope rushes out the door, and doubt comes rushing in. When I fix my eyes on anything or anyone other than my Savior, I lose sight of the source of hope. The God of hope. The God of joy. The God of peace.
Deep in the heart of every human being is a spiritual seed. If germinated, it grows into an unshakable confidence in God. We have been created to trust God as provider, healer, and comforter, but there are diabolical strategies in this world designed to sabotage our hope in God.
Because our hope in God enables us to believe Him and act on His Word. Does the evil one want us to possess a steadfast faith? Not at all! The forces of evil relentlessly wear away at our confidence in our God. The Greek word for “hope” is translated as trust or confidence in what is certain. The strategy of the enemy is to sow seeds of doubt and uncertainty that will grow up and choke out the seedlings of hope.
And yet, some people live empowered by a sacred faith that sustains them no matter the circumstances. Our anticipation of Jesus’ birth brings into focus the story of Mary who has a burning hope that lights a steady fire in the depths of her being. The coming Messiah brings the promise of light and hope into the world: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)
As you anticipate Jesus’ arrival, take time to read the Christmas story in the Gospels. Notice how Mary’s hope comes from a deep place of certainty in the Word of God spoken through the angel Gabriel. She does not need to know exactly how God will accomplish what He promises, but she knows that He is able.
Mary’s hope is built on the nature of God, not on the nature of her circumstances. She knows that He will never leave her nor forsake her. The details are unimportant. The great I Am has spoken. That is enough for her.
Can God’s Word be enough? As you prepare your heart to celebrate the coming Christ, I pray that the Lord fills you to overflowing with His gift of Hope.