These past couple years have been filled with sorrow, unrest, and hardship. If each of us were to reflect for a moment, we could all testify about the hardships we have had.
To share on a more personal note, for almost two years I have been sick. It has manifested itself in many different ways, but the most humbling and challenging aspect is not knowing day to day whether I will be feeling good or bad. I have struggled with this physical weakness and have cried out to the Lord for mercy and healing on a daily basis. For the first time in my life, I have asked the Lord, “how much more, O Lord?”
I have only been able to find real and lasting hope when the Holy Spirit reminds me about Jesus and His powerful words of hope found in the Bible. The Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology defines hope as the following: to trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone. I would like to encourage us with some words of hope from Jesus as we celebrate Jesus in this Christmas season.
We can hope because:
Jesus does not grow weary of our cries for help.
Jesus is a refuge to the broken-hearted.
Jesus Christ is our ultimate future hope.
First, Jesus does not grow weary of hearing our cries for help. Psalm 71:3 says, “Be to me a rock of refuge; to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me; for you are my rock and my fortress.” Jesus never tires of hearing from us. When everyone else around us doesn’t want to listen, Jesus welcomes our prayers and our cries for mercy.
Second, Jesus is a refuge to the broken-hearted. Psalm 34:18-22 says these words, “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”
All throughout Scripture, time after time, we see broken and sinful people finding comfort and hope in Jesus. He restores them. He spends time with them. He transforms their lives. And the amazing thing is, he doesn’t always change their circumstances. Jesus uses those circumstances as a way for us to hope in Him.
Lastly, we can have hope because Jesus Christ is our ultimate future hope. Psalm 27:13-14 says this, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord!” As we reflect on the hardships of these past couple years, let’s cast our eyes upon Jesus as we wait upon Him, our ultimate hope. There will be times when we struggle to see what Jesus is doing, but our hope lies in waiting upon Jesus and looking to Jesus who is our ultimate hope and Savior.
For me personally, I am still waiting and pleading with Jesus to heal me. By God’s grace, I am learning (very slowly) that Jesus is better than any physical healing I may desire. Last Christmas I wrote a song called, “In the Waiting.” The final verse summarizes the tension and worship I have been feeling through the process of learning to hope.
When my heart can feel his power making all things new
When my waiting sees his grace already pushing through
So my heart cries, “Worthy, worthy are you Jesus!”
Praising out loud! You are my King of Kings!
Friends, as we enter into this Christmas season, let’s take the time as a church to hope, to worship, and to wait upon Him.