Summary: Seeing Christ as the real hope for our lives.
Text: Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out with our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5 – NAS)
“I’d rather not celebrate Christmas this year,” the hallow-eyed young woman stared at the snow at her feet. “I just don’t see the point in celebrating, without my family.” One swift moment on an icy road had left her without a husband and children. Sorrow had frozen her heart, but the despair had crushed her hope.
Her story is only one amidst many this holiday season. Life has frowned on many during this year and hope has been shattered for many. Just weeks ago we watched as three large jumbo jets were flown into building killing close to 6,000 people. Records show that this year alone, close to 15,000 people were killed from random acts of violence or murder. The stories, the facts the figures could go on for days or month, but never would all the stories be told of how hope has been crushed, mangled, broken & shattered for so many.
Hope is crushed yet we hear these words from Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “ and now these three remain: faith, hope and love.” Here we find HOPE included in as one of the ever-enduring gifts that God gives us for daily living. This is not some Christmas wish list (though those are fun sometimes) it is the real living vision of what the future can be for those who HOPE on Jesus Christ.
Old Testament visionaries longed for the day that the strong kingdom in God’s name would be established. They ached for the promised Messiah who would deliver their people from the shame and pain that years of captivity and outside rule had forced upon them.
For many in the Old Testament and even some today their hope, the heart’s greatest longing is never realized in their life time. To some it would seem that they wasted their efforts.
So why hope? Why take the chance of dreaming about things that may never come to pass? Why make yourself that vulnerable? Why again open yourself to be hurt?
Listen again to these familiar words from Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hear again these words, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
I believe that the writer of the Hebrews is expressing one thing that we need to hear clearly again. We can HOPE in the midst of life’s circumstances because the one that we HOPE in is greater than the sum of life’s circumstances. If our, “hope is built on nothing less that Jesus blood and righteousness” as the wonderful old hymn goes then we have great HOPE. We have mush to open ourselves for. We have much to HOPE on. We have a great God to HOPE on.
If the one we HOPE in is the one who cared this world with His hands… If the one that breathed the very breath of life into you and me is the one that we have placed our HOPE in, then these words from the writer of the Hebrews are right on, “Let us hold unswervingly to the HOPE we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23) For the LORD promised, “ I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)