Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Time for Hope

Merry Christmas! I hope that you and your family will experience a blessed and peaceful season. Unfortunately, for some of our neighbors, this Christmas will be a tough time, devoid of much hope.

The recent story of Denver's Aurilia Cisneros, the ten- year-old girl who was the victim of a gang-style shooting, reflects this fact. Then there is a good and godly friend of mine who recently and unexpectedly lost his wife of many years to a sudden illness.

Crime. Illness. Shootings. The list goes on and on. There seems to be no limit to the extent and depth of human tragedy. Where then in the midst of human tragedies is hope? For many, tragedy and hopelessness are an arbitrary definer of the human experience.

When God intervened into human history more than two thousand years ago, it was a tough neighborhood too. God knew what was on the line. Eventually, His own Son would go to a rugged Roman cross and die an unbearable death in a dark world similar to our time. As God's Son hung dying on a cross, all hope seemingly crashed around his disciples and other followers. But in reality, Jesus Christ's death injected a fiery splinter of new hope into the human equation-- and it goes like this.

There is a God who cares. This same God has given away His Son to die for us and to give us eternal hope. And this same God is both in control and available to comfort us in our afflictions. For those who seek God in the midst of tragedy they will find solace, hope and peace. Recently, I read a great verse out of Isaiah 40:31, "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Christmas is about such hope. "The Lord delights in those who put their hope in his unfailing love" (Psalm 147:11). Seek out God and His hope this Christmas. He will light your path

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