A Thrill of Hope

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‘Tis the season to be jolly.

Fa la la la la la la la la.

There are lights and laughter, there are songs, there are gifts, and there is SANTA. There are many things to look forward to around Christmas and HOPEfully they exceed all expectations.

And then there is the countless hours spent this year praying, believing, trusting and hoping. And in the end disappointment was all that was left. This December, like many before it, God’s response to many of my prayers was and is NO. No, your favorite uncle will still not believe. No, that baby in your belly will not live. No, their marriage will not survive. No, you will still not have definitive answers to your health issues. Crushed hopes and unfulfilled longings are familiar companions to many holiday celebrations.

I know I am not alone. This time of the year is hard for many. Because expectations are higher, we’re more easily disappointed. The Christmas disappointments can be remedied by new disciplines of New Year Resolutions, right?

I recently listened to a message that Matt Chandler preached called “The Anticipation” and in that message he had a line that said:

“Your level of disappointment is directly related to where you put your hope.”

WHOA.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9 ESV)

We were meant for eternal things therefore temporal things can only satisfy TEMPORARILY. When Peter wrote in verse 4 about our inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading this means that as God’s children, we inherit something that can no decay or be destroyed. It is permanent and unfading in its purity and beauty. Our hope lies in heaven.

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (verses 6-7, The Message)

These verses say that we all may suffer disappointment in life. Whether it’s an unsaved loved one, a miscarriage, a broken marriage, or still suffering health issues, these things allow the character of your faith to shine through. Your FAITH is worth more than any earthly thing.

“Though you have not seen Him, you LOVE Him; though not seeing him now, you believe in Him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious JOY because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)

Though this season may not be jolly, we choose to embrace the JOY of our salvation.

He is our hope.

Oh, A THRILL OF HOPE.

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