December 19

Hope was Born This Night

Hope is a necessary thing.  It is not a luxury.  It is not an option.  We may need water and food and air to survive, but we need hope to thrive.  So how do we have hope?  Where is our hope found?  In this dark world, is there a light at the end of the tunnel, or is that flicker an oncoming train?

In Psalm 42:5a, the Psalmist asks a very important question, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?”  In other words, life is hard!  My spirit feels crushed!  I am prone to discouragement!  Under the tree of my life today I can see more hardships than blessings.  What am I to do?  Is your soul cast down today?  Are you in turmoil?

The Psalmist continues with the solution to our down cast soul, “Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”  The solution for our spirit today is hope for tomorrow.

Hope for tomorrow means that we do not believe that today (or yesterday) was the best things will ever be.  We are tempted to think that our past was the “good old days.”  As we age, we are also tempted to think that the end of our lives will only be about loss:  loss of health, deaths of friends and families, activities we can no longer enjoy.  With this perspective, our past or our present are the pinnacles of existence, and everything else is simply downhill.  If our perspective is only earth bound, then there may be some truth to this existential depression.  However, if we know the God of the universe, we have access to an unending hope . . . because our hope is anchored to something OUTSIDE this life.

God is eternal.  When we “hope in God” we connect our perspective to Him.  In eternity, we are saved.  In eternity, our broken and breaking bodies are upgraded to an imperishable sort.  In eternity, God richly provides for all our needs.  In eternity, we do not sin or struggle.  With this eternal perspective, we can have hope now!

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God demonstrated His intimate connection between the world in which we live and His eternal order.  Jesus came here to give us a tangible and living hope, to provide a way for us to enter eternity.  When we place our faith in Christ, we can have a hope today based on what He has promised us tomorrow.  And Christmas is a reminder of that.

The Psalmist ends 42:5 by reminding us to demonstrate our hope in God by praising Him.  To help with that, listen to the contemporary Christmas song, “Hope was Born this Night” by the Sidewalk Prophets, and hear “the echoes of grace of our Savior’s embrace because hope was born this night.” 

Hope was Born this Night – Sidewalk Prophets

Tonight I can see a star shine

And its splendor fills up the sky

It’s the same that appeared

And the wisemen revered

When Hope was born this night

Out upon the snowy fields

There’s a silent peace that heals

And it echoes the grace

Of our Savior’s embrace

Because Hope was born this night

Glory to God in the highest

Peace on earth

Goodwill to men

Let all of the world

Sing the chorus of joy

Because Hope was born this night

I can hear the Christmas bells ringing

As softly a church choir sings

It’s the song used to praise

The Ancient of Days

When Hope was born this night

There are angels in this place

And my heart resounds in the praise

Like a shepherd so scared

I’ll rejoice and declare

That Hope was born this night

Glory to God in the highest

Peace on earth

Goodwill to men

Let all of the world

Sing the chorus of joy

Because Hope was born this night

 

To access all 31 days of “The Christmas Carols” Devotional, click here.

To access playlists for all 31 songs, visit:

 

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