Why You Can Have Hope This Holiday Season. In a world filled with hardship, how can we have hope? The answer is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem. Psalm 130:5-8 “I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”
Hope: to desire or anticipate with the expectation of fulfillment, confident expectation.
For centuries, Israel had been hoping for the Messiah, waiting for Him, expecting Him. After all, God had promised, and as Psalm 145:13 reminds us, “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.” Still, the Israelites had been waiting for a very long time. No doubt many of them had ceased to live in expectation.
Perhaps all the religious rituals they observed no longer kept many of them looking for the Messiah so much as doubting He would ever come. Perhaps that’s why the vast majority of them didn’t notice when He came-they weren’t looking for Him. It seems they had forgotten one simple truth: God is always at work.
While they were bustling through Bethlehem, an innkeeper was turning away the very Messiah they were hoping for. As they nestled snug in their beds, the Son of God came very near. They just didn’t know it.
Of course, God is still working, though His people don’t always realize it. He still fulfills His promises. He still comes near and walks among us. The question is: Are we looking for Him?
Do we expect to see Him work among us? Do we watch for Him more than a night watchman waits for morning to come? Do we long to see His face?
As Christmas approaches, we would be wise not to make the same mistake the people of Bethlehem made. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we must focus our minds and hearts on Christ. We must expect to encounter Him each day for He has promised “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13.
Oh, let us seek Him this holiday season! As we search for gifts and shop for presents, we must remember it is God’s gift to us that brings hope. Without Christ, there is no Christmas.