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12:00 PM   [22 Dec 2019 | Sunday]

Christmas and Hope Deferred

 Hope deferred makes the heart sick (see Proverbs 13:12). Biblical hope is a positive expectation based on truth, and goes beyond wishful thinking. It has an actual expected end. Without hope, people lose sight of purpose. Without purpose, life loses meaning -there’s no reason to exist. How many find themselves in this condition? How many struggle to merely exist? Some cope by creating reasons to be here. They invent their own purpose, and make plans for a better tomorrow. Many of whom are in constant motion, because if they sit still, they would experience the dread of hopelessness. In short, it robs them of peace and joy.

   Individuals defer their own hope by rejecting God. Without Him, there is no purpose for their existence. At the same time, they believe they will not be held accountable for their actions. It gives them the “freedom” to do as they please without consequence, which makes it very convenient when it comes to doing their own thing. Furthermore, they go about trying to fill a God-sized void with things of the world, which in turn leaves them empty. Many will sing about peace, comfort and joy; but, many do not have them. Not only during this season, but all year long. And so it will always for them as long as they reject God.

   A good many believe in God, but they still lack joy and peace, because they haven’t taken Him up on His offer found in the Gospel of Luke.

    And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:8-14).

   Joy and peace are found in His good will toward them. Jesus came to the earth to save humanity, and reconcile us unto God. Joy, comfort and peace come by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and having fellowship with Him. At that point, God becomes Father to those who receive. As a suggestion to you who may fall in this category, ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins. Receive Him as your Lord and Savior. Ask Him to live in your heart. Joy, comfort and peace will come!

   Some might say, “I have prayed the prayer, and I still don’t have them!” Well, there is a difference between repeating a prayer, and actually surrendering to God and communing with Him. This isn’t about fire insurance; even though, Jesus saved those who received Him from the wrath to come. It is far more than that. Perhaps, you distanced yourself from Him for whatever reason, and need to return to your First Love. In His presence is fulness of joy (see Psalm 16:11).

   Romans 5:5-8 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

   1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Receive your King, and so receive peace, comfort and joy. Merry Christmas!


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