Devotional | Shannon Powell | Dec 3, 2023
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” - Lamentations 3:21-24Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations. - Luke 2:29-31
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” - Lamentations 3:21-24
Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations. - Luke 2:29-31
Once sin entered the world, God knew he would have to do something to make a way for us to be with him once again. He knew we would need a Savior, and who better than God himself, formed in flesh. Throughout the Bible, we are given countless accounts of the prophecy of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection to save all who believe in him for all eternity. But why would anyone believe that the God of the universe would come to earth as something as meek and small as a baby? I fully believe he entered the world this way to experience what we experience. He had to learn and grow up, be tempted, experience hardship, live a life that was fully human … and that starts with being a helpless baby.
The humble beginnings of Jesus give us all hope. He wasn’t born in the most immaculate of settings to the richest parents. He was born in a manger … no crib … no special clothes. He was born to parents who didn’t have much but were willing to take on the challenges that would come with being a parent to their Lord. Mary’s willingness to take on that responsibility is one of the greatest displays of hope. She believed there would be a Messiah and had the desire to serve the Lord and follow his commands. She had hope that God would use her however he saw fit, and he did.
Like Mary, those who heard the prophecy of the coming Messiah and saw it come to life with the birth of Jesus were filled with extraordinary hope. As you read Luke 2:29-31, you can almost feel the relief in the written words. It’s as if you can breathe again because the hope of the world was there. It had happened. The prophecy was fulfilled!
Jesus’ birth was just the beginning. He lived a perfect life, died a gruesome death, and resurrected just as prophecy was written. And you know what? He’s not done there! The prophecy continues. Jesus said he would “return and will divide the righteous from the wicked” (Matthew 25:31-46). With all the proof we have from prophecy already fulfilled, we should live in a posture of hopefulness that God will keep doing what he said he would, just as he already has.
Where is your hope this Christmas season? What do you have on your mind? As Lamentations 3:21-24 alludes to, our hope starts with our thoughts. When the world seems to be rapidly spinning out of control and you find you cannot put your hope in the institutions, friends, or family you once thought you could rely on, where can you turn? We turn to the one who never fails. He has a one hundred percent perfection rating. He has never forsaken us, never abandoned us; he has fulfilled his word and fulfilled hundreds of years of prophecy. His name is Jesus. He is the hope of the world, the light of the world. The reason we celebrate this season of Christmas with an attitude of hope is because we know with God all things are possible. So let the Lord take hold of your heart this season and bring a refreshing and renewed sense of hope, that through it all, he is making all things new, and that new can be you!
Lord, thank you for the gracious gift of your Son. Thank you for being a God who follows through on his word. One who we can trust because you’ve proven that what you’ve said will happen. During this Christmas season, remind us of the hope Mary had even before carrying Jesus, and help us reflect her level of faithfulness because of that hope. In Jesus name, Amen.
Shannon PowellCommunications Administrative Assistant
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