Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Thrill of Hope

Turn on the television, go online, open up a newspaper and you're instantly bombarded with bad news. Terrorism, violence, disaster, disease and despair fill the headlines. This is supposed to be a season of Joy and Peace, yet it seems with each passing day the world spirals further into the chaos of immorality. How can we sing songs of love and cheer when there is so much evil and unhappiness in the world?

My favorite Christmas song is "O Holy Night." It speaks of a weary world much like the one we see now, a world of corruption, hostility, and great unrest. But a thrill of Hope echoed across the world that night so long ago when a Savior entered the world, not as a conquering king, but as a helpless baby.

Hope. It's a small word with a tremendous promise. Hope is not wishful thinking, but grasping and claiming the promises made to us by God and trusting without doubt that He will bring them to pass. Jesus' entry into the world marked the fulfillment of an age-old promise. (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7)
It also marked the beginning of a new Hope for mankind.

The Law of God declared that the punishment for sin was death. For centuries, animal sacrifices had been made to atone for the sins of humanity. God loved his creation and I believe that when Satan came around to remind God that mankind deserved eternal separation from Him, He knew what must be done. There must be an Ultimate Sacrifice made. A Final Atonement. God offered His Son as that sacrifice so that we could continue to fellowship with Him and be His children.

Our Hope of Salvation was born as a baby in a stable. He was born to die for us. He was born as a Gift from a loving Father who wished to redeem His wandering children. It is because of this Gift that we can have Hope, despite the state of the world. God sees what's going on. He saw it 2000 years ago. He saw it from the very fall of Man. He has given us Hope in the form of His Son Jesus. We can look to Jesus for comfort, peace and unfailing love.

The world may be weary, but it can thrill in the Hope that Jesus has come to save us from our sins and to restore us to the Father.

Do you need Hope? What greater Christmas gift can you ever get than the assurance that you belong to God and have everlasting life in Him through Jesus?!  The best part?  It's FREE!  You don't have to buy anything or do any certain number of good works. You just have to accept and believe. All it takes is a simple, heartfelt prayer like this one:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name.

If you prayed this prayer I rejoice with you! Christmas will have a deeper, fuller meaning for you from now on.

Whether or not you prayed this prayer, know that God loves you and I do as well. I wish you all a very merry and blessed Christmas!

*No, I will not always be this "preachy" in my blogging, but I felt called to share today. God is good, folks. Don't doubt for a moment!