I wrote this short piece for our church Advent devotional booklet last Christmas. I found myself thinking about hope and trust again this year, and got to feeling like this was a good message to share. Again. May God bless you with a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
My life is full of stories about hopes. I bet yours is, too. Hopes fulfilled and hopes dashed – it’s a pretty even mix. Stories of blessings, surprises, disappointments. I think it is common in modern times, to see hope as a simple wish, nothing more. However, in biblical times, “hope” was a word closely related to (and often synonymous with) trust.
The Christmas season is a time of hope, in both the modern and the ancient sense. Although we may hope for simple things like a visit from a relative, or the joy of giving a nice gift, it is also the perfect time to remember that true hope is more than a simple wish for something we don’t have.
True hope, the hope that sustains us, is trust in what we already have – God. We trust that God has a plan for us, and it is a good plan. We trust that no matter what happens as God is fulfilling this plan, He will bring us through it, and restore us, just as He did Jesus. This hope, this trust, is what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:31-33, when he said:
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
This Christmas, let us remember Jesus and honor him by putting our trust in God and letting the rest fall into place, with no worries about tomorrow.