The world Jesus came into was not all that different from our own. People are people and they haven’t changed much in two thousand years. At the time of Jesus’ birth, Israel was occupied by a foreign power, there was political intrigue and upheaval, the people faced economic hardship, there was a national identity crisis, cultural confusion, and serious and overt religious suppression.
We could easily pull the same description from today’s newspaper or internet headlines. The world has always known how to spread and recycle hopelessness (lacking optimism and expecting disappointment – desperate, despairing, and bleak in its outlook). Fortunately, our hope is not in a government, a man, or an ecomony. No, our hope is in the person of Jesus Christ who builds into every heart an inner image of a white hot expectation that with Him we can expect great things ahead of us.
First, with Jesus we have hope for a fresh start. Who hasn’t made a mess of things from time to time. Lamentations 3:22-23 promises that the mercies of God are new every morning. This means that God never tires of helping his people out of messes that they create. It means that his commitment to alleviate our distres will never run dry. Every person that comes to Christ soon experiences the joy of a new positive outlook and fresh start in life.
Second, with Jesus we have hope for new strength. This world has a way of sapping even the strongest of us (and being a Christian does not shield us from growing weary and getting tired). The promise of Isaiah 40:31 is that if we will wait or hope in the Lord he would renew our strength. If we will learn to wait upon the Lord in his presence our strength, vigor, and vitality will be soon restored.
Third, with Jesus we have hope for a great future. Every believer should become familiar with Jeremiah 29:11 which reveals a God that is not for our hurt or destruction but for our well being. He truly has a futue and a hope for each of his children. It’s up to us to seek the Lord in prayer and his Word to discover the path he has for us in this life. But be sure he has a wonderful plan and path just for you!
Finally, with Jesus we have hope for His soon return. 1 John 3:2-3 explains how believers are purified as they long and expect the soon return of the one that came so long ago as a babe. That child grew in wisdom and stature with God and with man. That man – the God man – fully God and fully man – taught and ministered on this earth in great wisdom and power – he died for our sins, was raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Father and waits for the command of the Father to return to this earth again in victory and total dominion.
I encourage you this Christmas season to call out to the Lord if you’ve never met him or if you’ve made some mistakes and you find yourself feeling distant from God. He will accept you, brush you off, heal your hurts, restore your hope, and reveal to you the wonderful and bright future he has planned for you from the beginning of time.