Devotions this week based on Sunday’s Message: Hope is the Heart of Christmas! (LISTEN HERE)
Life can feel hopeless all too often.
People let you down.
Hard situations are not fun.
News is depressing.
Self-worth is challenged.
Knowing hope is found in Jesus is objective truth.
Feeling hope that Jesus gives is subjective…this is what is hard to match one’s head with one’s heart when the above list is going on.
The greatest threat to life is hopelessness. At times one “dies” while still alive because they have lost hope.
Hope is a powerful emotional force. With it we move forward through the hardest of circumstances. Without it, we find ourselves discouraged, depressed…perhaps even suicidal.
What I have found when we put our hope in things that are temporal, (people, finances, career, family, opportunities, etc.) each one of these enables the possibility for hope to be shattered. As Tim Keller said in his book Counterfeit Gods, (paraphrasing) “The reality of any counterfeit god is at some point, it will let you down.”
So, this is what makes finding hope in the heart of Christmas so important.
Jesus brings to you a hope that is certain, real, and solid.
Here’s reasons for hope – even when life seems and feels hopeless:
When people let you down, have hope because God will never let you down.
Matthew 28:20 And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
When you are going through hard situations, have hope because God works good out of hard situations.
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.
When the news seems depressing and discouraging, have hope God is still in control.
Ephesians 1:22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
When you feel worthless and struggle for purpose, have hope because you are a redeemed, gifted, child of God.
1 Peter 1:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
When your relationships are challenged, have hope that the grace and forgiveness of God has restored your relationship with him and has power to restore human relationships.
Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
This hope, and more, is what is God’s gift to you this Christmas.
Apply: Which promise of hope are you hanging on to today?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for always giving me hope, even when I feel hopeless. AMEN.