When you think of hope, do you think of Jesus? If we were really honest about it, we often place our hope in so many things other than Him — our abilities, our job titles, our bank accounts, and even the people in our lives. But when we really think of the core of what hope is, do we place it in fleeting things, or do we bet our hope on the One who created us?
Unlike the world, Jesus gives us a hope that actually has a return on investment. The titles, the accomplishments, and even the people in our world can’t give to us as Jesus does. The hope that we have in Jesus is attached to the promises that God always had for his children. That’s why the Christmas story is so powerful.
When sin entered the world, God knew that He had to devise a plan to save His children. He sent every great prophet known to the faith to help turn His people back to him. But even then it wasn’t enough. Why? Because the issue of humanity could not be solved through humanity. We needed divine intervention to show us how to live and walk in a way that is pleasing to God. That’s why we place our hope in Jesus. He was like a seed, planted in the earth by way of the virgin Mary. He was fully God, but fully man.
He was tested, He struggled, and He suffered for the sake of all humanity. He died on the cross so that we all could, once again, live in perfect relationship with the Father. And now, that same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in each of us. You see, our hope in Jesus isn’t based on a feeling, it’s based on the fulfillment of God’s promise.
In the Garden of Eden, God spoke a promise that set the foundation for everything that will come. Genesis 3:15 says, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (NIV). He was talking about Jesus. Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel” (NIV). He was talking about Jesus. Micah 5:2 says, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times” (NIV). He was talking about Jesus. All of the scriptures. All of the prophets. All of the stories of faith. They all have one common thread: they all point back to Jesus.
As we go about our Christmas celebrations, let’s not forget the real reason for this season. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us to stay in a place of hopelessness, despair, and defeat. He died so that we could live life in freedom and abundance. He died so that we would take the focus off of ourselves and focus on serving others. He died so that his children could see what true love and sacrifice looks like. 2020 might have won the war, but God has already won the battle. He’s still king. He’s still in control. He’s still working everything together for our good. We just have to believe it.
Watch the full message “Planted Hope” on YouTube.