Christmas is just around the corner, and many will be returning home to spend time with family and friends. This year, no matter what your circumstances are, no matter what you are facing, whether it be a bad report from the doctor, botched relationships, a wayward child, or financial lack, I invite you to come home to hope.
The hope I’m talking about is not the world’s kind of hope. The wishing for something without any expectation that the hope will be fulfilled. No, what I’m talking about is Biblical hope - the confident expectation and certainty that what God has promised in His Word will come to pass. It’s having one’s neck outstretched in anticipation of the answer that’s on its way.
There are three aspects of hope I’d like to briefly examine.
Sometimes, when God’s promises are not coming to pass in my life as soon as I would like them to, I remind myself (and God) that He has promised I will NEVER be ashamed for trusting in Him.
So, my dear friend, no matter what you are facing today, plant your feet firmly on the promises of God. “Then I saw heaven standing open, and there before me was a white horse. And its rider is called Faithful and True…” (italics mine Revelation 19:11 BSB). The God we serve is faithful and true. His promises will come to pass in your life.
Recently, I have been undergoing an identity crisis. Let me explain.
On September 25, 2022, my husband of fifty-one years passed away, leaving a huge hole in my heart. I have always seen myself as a married woman, as a wife. Now, who am I? I am single. I am a widow. My status has changed immeasurably. But despite my status change here on earth, I am still a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven. That hasn’t changed. “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives…” (Philippians 3:20 NLT). I do not go by my earthly status. I go by the Word of God. His Word defines me. His Word tells me who I am in Christ Jesus.
The first chapter of Ephesians is rich in informing us of who we are in Christ. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3 NIV). In Jesus, I am blessed with every spiritual blessing. What are some of those blessings?
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” (Ephesians 1:4 NLT). God says I am chosen, accepted, and beloved, even when I don’t feel like it.
Sin sold me into slavery, living apart from God. But because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and my trust in Him as my Saviour, I have been adopted into God’s family, an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus. “And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17 BSB). Jesus is my elder Brother.
And being adopted into God’s family means I have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. “He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His beloved Son…” (Colossians 1:13 BSB).
I have also been redeemed and forgiven. “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (Ephesians 1:7 NLT). Jesus redeemed me from the slave market of sin. “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our wrongdoings from us” (Psalm 103:12 NASB). My sin has been cast into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19).
The Holy Spirit lives in me and is the seal or guarantee of my heavenly inheritance, secured by Jesus. “And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people” (Ephesians 1:13-14 NLT).
So, when I feel downcast, I do as David did. I speak to my soul. “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why the unease within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him for the salvation of His presence” (Psalm 42:5 BSB). I recall who I am in Jesus. He is all I need.