by Thomas Yerman

The end of each year brings us a special opportunities to reflect upon the presence of the faithful, loving, and all-powerful “God with us.”

On Thanksgiving Day we took time to reflect on those things we are thankful for. As we head toward Christmas celebrations, we find ourselves reflecting upon the birth of Jesus Christ—the Son of God who came to earth, put on flesh, and walked among us.

This celebratory season has to be the most beautiful time of the year. It’s a time when our thoughts and hearts move determinedly towards hope, love, joy, peace, and the One who promised them—Jesus, “the reason of the season.”

Let’s reflect on the first word in the list—hope.

Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. It’s believing or wanting something to happen. We’ve all expressed hope, but as we can see, hope defined by an American dictionary does not express any certainty, just a wish of its possibility.

Now let’s look to Scripture and further define hope. “You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas” (Psalm 65:5). This verse reveals hope as a person, the person of God. And that changes a wishful thought into certainty, both in the definition and the experience of hope.

When you add God into the definition, it expands hope’s reach, bringing a person into a state of being sure of something. Why? Because hope rests on the person of God and so the promises of his Word. Believers trust everything that God has said or promised.

In fact, trust is what makes a person a believer. Our hope in God is not just something we wish for or dream about. It’s a sure confidence. When we have a biblical hope, it not only desires something good for the future, it expects it to happen. And since God cannot lie, he is our only hope.

Christmas is the fulfillment of God’s Word of the coming Messiah. God sending his Son to earth is the ultimate expression and gift of God’s love for us. Yet, there are so many more promises and treasures that we can discover in the Word of God.  As believers we are right to hunger to know what other great things we can expect from him. God is awesome!

Christmas is a time of remembering and being reminded of how important it is to see things through the eyes of God. We must constantly be moving in a direction to build our faith so that we can hold on to our hope. They work together. When our hope rests on the Word of God, we experience growth in our faith. And when we use our faith in God to look to the future, we will have hope. Our hope is a Person of promise, who forgives us and transforms us into his likeness. Hope is a biblical principle and a strong spiritual force. Be encouraged.

“The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity—hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory—because at the Father’s will, Jesus became poor and was born in a stable so that 30 years later he might hang on a cross.” (J. I. Packer)

Jesus fulfilled God’s will that he be sent to earth and give the victory to us. As we take our stand during these difficult times, let us remember that we have a hope that is rock solid, a hope that cannot be taken away from us.

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1).

“While we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

Thomas Yerman is an FCA pastor ministering at Living Hope Church in Elk Grove Village.