The Thrill of Hope

You may recognize the title as a variation of a line from a well-known Christmas hymn, O Holy Night.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn

Yes, it is the season to remember that the Savior came to do for us what we were powerless to accomplish on our own. As the angel announced to Joseph, “thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

Jesus was born to save us, and that is why His birth caused the sin-weary world to finally experience the bliss of expectation. Since Adam, century after century had come and gone with the verdict of death and despair hanging over the fate of mankind. In Jesus the promise of God made at the dawn of time (but established before the foundations of the world were laid) was made good and all of creation exhaled a long sigh of relief.

Often when people who have lived under horrible conditions share their stories of survival, they speak about the hope they held on to when the days dragged on. A powerful line from the ‘Prince of Egypt’ soundtrack says,

There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It’s hard to kill

The pronouncement of God’s judgement on mankind in the Garden of Eden carried with it the promise of redemption. He did not leave us without hope, but on the contrary, God Himself spoke words that gave each generation something to look forward to as He declared to the devil,

“I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Sadly, during this time of year so many people experience a sense of hopelessness and sorrow. The memories of loved ones or the disappointments of our current situations can easily overshadow the joy of the truth. We must resist the temptation to embrace self-pity by reminding ourselves that His name is Emmanuel–God is with us!

The prophet Jeremiah is often called “the weeping prophet” because of the sorrow he expressed for the condition of his people. The book Lamentations is really one long mournful poem written by Jeremiah to describe the terrors he was witnessing as God’s people had forsaken Him and received the outcome of their poor choice. Even so, one of the most beautiful passages in Scripture can be found in the book of Lamentations as the prophet proclaims,

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Jeremiah knew the power of hope, and we are still singing and quoting his words today.

Hopefully, the birth of Jesus is not something we think about for just a few days at the end of the year. The peace and goodwill announced to the shepherds by the angels still belong to us today through the completed work of Jesus our Lord. He is the Son that was given to us to break the curse of destruction and hopelessness that our sin had sentenced us to.

Rejoice! Rejoice! God is with us today and everyday because of all that Jesus has done. When we put our complete confidence in Him, we will know that He is the Light when all other lights grow dim. This is the hope that should thrill us all throughout the year.

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