Over the past year our country has seen a great deal of political turmoil and continuing uncertainty. Even at a personal level our lives may have been thrown into disarray by unexpected and challenging circumstances. We may wonder what hope there is for any of us.
Indeed, life can be very dark at times especially if there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel. To have hope for something better helps us to look beyond our present difficulties and motivates us to keep going.
The hope and love that we celebrate at Christmas has not changed in over 2000 years. The world back then was also shrouded in darkness, but there was hope because God had promised that he would one day send a Saviour into this world to save sinners.
After years of expectant waiting, light broke the darkness of the night sky as the angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds on a hillside just outside Bethlehem. The amazing news they heard was that God’s promised Saviour had come.
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 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 2.10-11,13-14).
Here was hope fulfilled—a baby born of a virgin whose name was called JESUS. The Son of God, in human flesh, had come to save his people from their sins and meet their hearts’ deepest need. The shepherds went speedily to see Mary and Joseph and the baby for themselves. They returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard.
The truth that Jesus came into the world to save sinners is still touching the hearts and lives of people today because our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven. Jesus is our only sure hope for forgiveness and eternal life because he came, lived a perfect life, died and rose again to be our Saviour.
We may despair as we see our country in chaos. We may despair when our own lives are sometimes overwhelmed with problems. Yet there is a God who loves us and offers us real hope and peace if we come to trust in His Son. Jesus knew what it was to live in a broken world and therefore understands all our needs.
Jesus said, ‘I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness’ (John 12.46).
Jesus can give us hope for today, hope for tomorrow and hope beyond this life. So where is your hope? Is it in the passing things of this life or is it firmly anchored in Jesus Christ?
‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD’ (Psalm 31.24).