Maybe you’re like me and you have this song memorized or perhaps you have heard it a few time since you began swapping out your Thanksgiving decorations for all things merry and bright. I really like to think about what I’m singing, and I particularly love these lyrics this year.
The Thrill of Hope.
Do you ever think about what you are hoping for? Where is our hope found? Is it rooted and established in a divine love that has shaped and continues to change our lives? This is not the same kind of hope we have for our kids future or hope for a future husband. There is a thrill of hope in Christ that is so much deeper.
No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love and put their trust in Him. He acts on behalf of those who wait for Him 1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 64:4 ESV
In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus invites us into God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. The profoundness of this prayer, to ask the Father to bring heaven to life in our hearts, minds, and lives, is what Christmas is celebrating. The hope of heaven on earth is thrilling!
The weary world rejoices.
If you know me, you know I’m much more of a realist than an optimist. I’m analytical to a fault. Sometimes, I feel like I need to understand things before I can put all my eggs in a basket with full confidence in the return of investment. I’ve been burned by those I’ve put all my trust in. I’ve been betrayed by friends who professed their loyalty. I’ve known unspeakable psychological confusion that only an all-knowing God could minister to through the power of His Word. I’ve known longing that’s made me physically ache and needed answers that had no human could speak into. I’ve struggled to pay the bills as a single mom with no end in sight. I’ve felt the cinderblocks of anxiety on my chest before I even opened my eyes for a new day. That hope we just talked about plays in here, because so many of these moments collided with my heavenly Father coming to comfort me and my Jesus coming to counsel me through the Holy Spirit. My optimism is real and overcomes my human tendency to overanalyze with incomplete data- because Jesus is real.
Fall on your knees.
Don’t miss this. Submit yourself to this truth. Have you been wrestling with anxiety as Christmas approaches? Is this season just generally hard for you, because it reminds you of loss, disappointment, or poverty (monetarily or in spirit)? Fall on your knees, and let the invitation of Jesus be on your lips. Let’s not try to brave this season of Christmas by holding tightly to the lie of loneliness. God loves you and desires to be in relationship with you, covering those areas of aloneness with His gentle, loving, forgiving, all-knowing presence.
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Jesus took off his robe of light (wrap your mind around that statement), and put on flesh to come be with us. He came not just to teach us the way to navigate this troubled broken world, but also to give us the greatest gift of all - the best of Himself in every way. He came to establish His kingdom and presence in our very hearts. He came incarnate to live with us and to die for us. Then, He sends us the Holy Spirit who will help, comfort, teach, and lead us through this life in the deepest, most fulfilling way with Him and with each other.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. John 14:15-20 ESV
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Do you feel utterly wiped out? Maybe it feels like a flag of defeat has been flying over you and your home this year, because you haven’t made the best choices and now you’re stuck trying to right wrongs with your own strength. Or maybe you have experienced tremendous loss that has left a chasm in your life that you’re not really sure what living is supposed to look and feel like. The common and understandable “error” here is forgetting hope. Defeat in our lives begins when the lies the enemy has spoken to us begin to take root and dictate our responses. There’s no condemnation in that, and if you could see my face, you’d also feel my hands holding yours with the most sincere eyes, as I tell you that victory over the tangible darkness starts and ends with Jesus.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. Romans 8:36 ESV
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17 ESV
‘Til He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.
I am fully convinced that the choices we make, the way we see ourselves, stems directly from the way we understand God’s love for us and others. Do you know that if you are in Christ, Jesus is preparing a place for you to be with Him for eternity? He is wild about you. He is with you. Nothing can separate God’s heart being geared toward your good and His glory shining wildly through your life. When we believe the lie “you are alone”, we begin to toil in frantic desperation or depression rather than remembering the truth of God with us. There is joy in knowing that we are never truly alone and that the one who is in complete control completely has us. Alone is a lie. When we believe that “no one understands me”, we begin to seek to be understood and fulfilled in ways that often perpetuate a sense loss through shallow connections. We forget that God created us, loves us, offers forgiveness and loves to keep His promise of full restoration. In Him, we are known, truly known, and loved completely, through and through. You are worthy of love, because He says so and proved it. He hasn’t changed His mind about you.
Truly He taught us to love one another;
Sister, when Jesus was asked what the most important command was, he told them to love the Lord our God with all our soul, our mind, our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are hardwired for relationship with our Creator and with each other. This celebratory season of Christmas summons us to build into relationships with God and with others.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord? O praise His Name forever.
My prayer for us this season is that we would truly know the hope and salvation that we find in our Heavenly Father through the finished work of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I’m in this with you,