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December 1, 2019, 8:12 PM

The Message of Christmas: Hope


This morning my congregation and I embarked on a four-week season of advent. This season concludes on Christmas eve with a celebration of Christ’s arrival. The word advent means “coming” and remembers the hundreds of years the people waited for the coming of the Messiah since the end of the Old Testament prophecies. Indeed, people waited for 4,000 years for the promise to unfold.

 

We will unfold the beautiful news that Jesus has come as we explore four themes: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. These messages echo through time, filling our hearts with good news. Jesus’ coming was the fulfillment of each one of these promises. Jesus fulfilled them in us.

 

Our first message is the Christmas message of Hope.

 

THE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE OF HOPE

Every parent knows the worst phrase of every trip. Say it with me, “ARE WE THERE YET?” It’s a message that we are tired of the waiting. We want to be there already. That heart beats for hope. It still does.

 

Hope is a powerful force in our lives.

 

Consider hope denied. One of the most negative things to say about a person is to say that they are hopeless. To say that is to give up on any chance of redemption. To view a situation as hopeless is to have not prospect of improvement. The word is vastly overused today but still very, very powerful.

 

We also know the pain of hope deferred. This is the belief in hope that is out there in the distant future. We believe change can come but it is so far removed from today. It is difficult to wait for hope out there.

 

The word “hope” is a powerful word. The Greek verb elpizo calls for people to exercise trust and hope. The noun elpis speaks of expectation and confidence. Together the words mean: To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.

 

Scripture is full of the message of hope. It is from cover to cover. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden there were inevitable consequences, but also a promise. God gave hope for deliverance when the Savior would wound the serpent. We will live in that hope.

 

The end of the story contains hope as well. After telling about our home to come John cries with all of us “Maranatha” which means “Come Lord Jesus.” We have hope for the day that Jesus comes for us.

 

From beginning to end hope fills the pages of scripture. Over and over we hear the message. It echoes from each corner of Scripture. The pages are full of hope. For this morning’s message I will mention four verses.

 

 

  • We have a LIVING hope. 1 Peter 1:3

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”

 

God has given you new birth. It is a birth not into a system of works and self-righteousness. No, our new birth is into a living hope. It is sealed by the power of the resurrection of Jesus.

 

  • The LORD is MINE. Lamentations 3:22-25

“The Lord’s love never ends; his mercies never stop. They are new every morning; Lord, your loyalty is great. I say to myself, “The Lord is mine, so I hope in him. The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to those who seek him.”

 

The Lord gives us mercy every day, filling us with the strength we need for the day because He is ours and we are His. He is ALWAYS good to those who put their hope in Him. He strengthens those who seek Him.


The author continues by saying it is good or us to wait in hope. 3:26it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

 

  • Jesus living in us is the Hope of GLORY. Col 1:27

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”

 

The hope we have is the hope of glory. We are assured of our spot in glory. This mystery is possible in us only because of Christ living in us. He lives in you and lives in me. That is our hope and our assurance of glory to come.

 

  • He Overflows You with Hope-Romans 15:13

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Hope gives us

 

PROMISE-BECAUSE OF HOPE:

  • FAILURE is not ULTIMATE

Yes, you failed. You didn’t measure up to what you were supposed to do. But that failure is not the end of the story. Hope says Jesus is in you and you start over. You can experience forgiveness.

 

  • CIRCUMSTANCES are not PERMANENT

Today may look dark. The struggle is real. But today is not the end of the story. There is another chapter. There is another day, a bright day. Hope looks for God’s tomorrow.

 

  • We can Hope in times of CRISIS

No matter what struggle tomorrow brings there is hope. God is greater than our struggle. Christ in you is enough to face every pain, every difficulty.

 

  • We have ULTIMATE hope for the PROMISE

The hope Jesus came to bring is a hope finding its fulfillment in the day when the clouds break open and the trumpet sounds. We will see Jesus face to face. While this hope is coming, it is not a deferred hope filled with doubt. It is a certainty based on the shed blood of Jesus.


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