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When Hope Delivers

What brings great joy when the days seem the darkest?

When hope delivers. When a promise is kept.

It’s hard to trust in promises these days. Politicians and government leaders break them too often. Broken promises from children, parents, spouses, and family members can cause deep hurt or lasting disappointment.

Do we dare to trust again? Can I be vulnerable and place myself in a position of being hurt or disappointed again?

When trust has been violated by people we care about, it can affect our relationship with God. Can I really trust Him? Are his promises too good to be true? Is his grace and forgiveness possible for somebody like me?

These are questions that make evangelism difficult. Believers proclaim promises. We ask people to trust us when we give a message of what Christ has done. People often hesitate when confronted by the presence of Christ in his Word.

Is God trustworthy when it feels like he has let me down before? Isn’t “okay” good enough for heaven? If God doesn’t seem to care about the world, then why should I care about him?

When God seems distant, its easier to distance ourselves from God.

The Israelite people had a habit of forgetting God’s promises. Swayed by the world, it was hard to separate themselves from the world. The faithful remnant during the time of Christ were banking on God’s promises. They had been waiting, watching, and longing for a Savior. They wanted a King from the line of David to save them from their enemies, bring peace and start a new and glorious government. Each Passover, marked another year of waiting, watching, and hoping.

What about the angels? Were they not also waiting, watching, and wondering? They knew the plan and they knew the promise. But they didn’t know the timing. They didn’t know when God would unleash this wonderful plan to fulfill his promise.

And then it happened. God delivered.

It was a brilliant plan. Instead of a royal birth in a palace, it was a humble one. Instead of a fierce warrior, it was a suffering servant. Instead of a superhero, from the family line of David, he was just a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. He came to conquer sin, not the Romans. He was sent to redeem from this world, not govern it like an earthly ruler.

When the Messiah came, God’s people were not impressed. Christ didn’t meet their expectations – their standards for a Savior. Behaving like a clique, Jesus was soundly rejected.

But the angels rejoiced! Out of nowhere – a promise was kept. The Messiah had come. He is the Christ who is to save us from our sins. The plan that was hatched at the creation of the world had come. Since God was far more interested in our eternal welfare, he knew what we desperately needed – a perfect substitute to conquer the essence of evil itself – death and the devil.

When hope delivers in our darkest hours, there is no greater joy.

That’s the message of Christmas – and its news worth spreading.

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