Summary: Where is our hope in a world that seems hopeless
The Hope of Christmas – God with Us
The Legend of the Three Trees – Read by Joe & Joy Kelley
Thank you Joe and Joy.
I enjoy that story because it helps to reveal how God perfectly works things out for His glory and our ultimate good, even during times when we can’t see it or maybe even lose hope.
Have you ever been in a situation where you may have lost hope that God was going to work? In this story, for each of the trees, the situation started out not at all like they were hoping it would and it didn’t seem like things would get any better.
But God worked in their situations, and used these trees for His glory and their fulfillment.
Christmas is a time when people can experience a lot of different emotions.
We feel joy at getting together with family, and
sadness that we can’t be with those who have passed away.
We feel good being able to give gifts, but guilt when we can’t afford to give.
We see a new year approaching and feel excitement for a fresh start, or we may feel that we are about to enter another year of the same mess we have been in and no way out so we feel hopeless.
If you are here tonight feeling discouraged with life or maybe even hopeless, it is my hope that you are going to leave tonight with hope and encouragement, a hope that brings joy into your life, not matter what you are facing.
This is really one of the things that Christmas is all about. Jesus came to give hope to the world. He is the hope of Christmas, the hope of glory.
Paul, who was one of the greatest missionaries of all time and who wrote most of the letters of the New Testament was a man called by God to share the truth of God with the world.
In one of his letters, the letter to the Colossians, Paul talks about this calling and he says in Colossians 1:25-27
that he has become the church’s “servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
The Mystery that he is proclaiming is Christ in us, the hope of Glory.
The Hope of God’s glory is available to each of you here tonight.
The hope of Glory came to us in the most unlikeliest of ways, in the form of a babe in a manger. But, it is in this hope we can rejoice because it is, just as the angels announced to the Shepherds,
“good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)
The good news is that God entered the scene to be with us and give us hope.
Matthew tells us that one of the names Jesus is called by, Immanuel – means God with us.
God came to be with us and provide hope where there was no hope.
What is the hope that He provides?
Well, this evening, I want to talk briefly about 3 areas that we can have hope in, when we are in a relationship with Jesus Christ, believing in God putting on skin and being born as a baby, living perfectly and dying for your sins.
Because Jesus was born and lived and died…
…we can have hope for the Present
Tonight you may be here in a situation that seems hopeless.
Perhaps you have been unemployed for what seems like forever.
Maybe your marriage has been anything but good and you think there is no hope for it getting better.
Maybe you are facing financial issues that seem insurmountable.
If you are in a situation that seems hopeless, you need to know that God is powerful enough to change the situation and to change you!
And often he changes the situation through changing you!
As he changes us, He helps us to have a godly, eternal perspective as we continue to grow in Him.
And as we read His word, and see how He works, we see that God is able to take any situation that we are facing and turn it to our ultimate good.
Romans 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
God can take the bad medical diagnosis and use it to lead someone into a relationship with Him and change their eternity.