Hope for instance is a positive, uplifting word. The hope for a good day, a successful career or a good diagnosis bring positive thinking. But the hope we have in Christ truly is the only hope for a fallen people. We are helpless on every single front. Without the shed blood of Messiah, there was no hope. Sin separated us from God. Jesus made atonement. Our hope is in him alone; a confident expectation of God‘s promise.
*1 Peter 1:3-4 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, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.
Peace. Don’t we all want it? Among nations, in government, within families, between friends, in our churches, at work....Peace in heavenly terms, though is where our focus should be. We were enemies of God.No peace or communication can occur between sinful men and a Holy God. Only through Jesus are we able to boldly approach the Father and enter into relationship with Him. Peace on earth requires peace with God first.
*Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Joy. Merriment and happiness come to mind. Weddings, births and reunions are joyous. But joy in its truest sense is described in James is really a response that we choose, knowing that whatever we face, good or bad, easy or difficult, sickness and health, we trust God‘s purpose and providence in it all. We know that joy does not mean happiness, it means contentment in Christ.
*James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
And lastly, love. How can we get this one wrong? Well, pretty easily actually! The emotion love is fickle and changing.The feeling of love leaves us breathless with happiness one day, and empty with loneliness the next. But the act of love, the verb is very different. The most important act of love was displayed at Calvary.. From God’s gift of Messiah came forgiveness of sin. This sacrificial love is like no other, and is the basis of all things Christian.
*John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life
Hope, peace, joy and love… You can’t have one without the others! Our perfect God sent a spotless sacrifice for imperfect people in this fallen world.
Are you just celebrating a holiday this week, or are you a humble sinner made clean by the Messiah whose birthday we remember.
Are you celebrating a festival or honoring God?
Are you hopefully seeking his presence or are your traditions of presents the focus?
What are you waiting for? Just as God’s people waited generations for Messiah, we need to be waiting hopefully for his return. Make no mistake, he is coming back! Let’s be his church; his bride, ready and waiting!
*Hope for his triumphant return.
*Peace as his death bridged the gap of sin.
*Joy in all circumstances through faith in him.
*Love because he first loved us!
From the cradle to the cross, we celebrate Him! Have a blessed Christmas!