There’s Hope! Sometimes, the most amazing things show up at the most unexpected times and in the most surprising ways! This year has been like no other. Full of difficulties, inconvenience, and pain. If ever there was a year to complain, this year would seem like a year you were justified in your gripping.
Well, justified until you take a peek into the world that Jesus arrive in. There was some shocking and outrageous stuff going on then too! Here’s a quick glimpse at the world Jesus was born into:
- Jesus was conceived by an unwed mother – Scandalous! It wasn’t until after Mary was pregnant that Joseph married her which also was out of the ordinary! (Matthew 1:18 & 24)
- Right about the time Mary was to give birth, they were forced to travel to Bethlehem to pay taxes. Talk about poor timing! (Luke 2:1-7)
- When Mary and Joseph arrived, there was no room for them at the inn so they made do in a stable and a manger was Jesus’ bed – hardly ideal! (Luke 2:7)
- The shepherds were the first to get word via the angels that Jesus, the Promised One, had been born. Yet shepherds were unlikely visitors as their position in society was low. (Luke 2:8-15)
- The wise men or magi who visited Jesus later were also interesting visitors in that they were Gentiles acknowledging that Jesus was no ordinary baby! (Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11)
- Herod the Great, who was anything but hero-like or great as his name would suggest, was appointed king of Judea by the Romans. He was a heartless ruler! He issued a decree that resulted in the slaughter of infants two years old and under – that’s really tough to imagine! (Matthew 2:16)
- Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were forced to be refugees in Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-15)
There was no fanfare or perfect circumstances for Jesus’ arrival. He came as a powerless baby at an inconvenient time! And yet, there were a host of amazing miracles that accompanied His arrival and that all added up to Him being the Savior of the world.
Perhaps the circumstances of 2020 have turned your world upside down and it’s been difficult to make sense of everything. Remember that Jesus is still the HOPE of the world. He’s still more than able to turn negative circumstances into blessings! Here are a few scriptures to reinforce that thought:
Instead, get help from the God of Jacob, put your hope in God and know real blessing! Psalm 146:5 (MSG)
I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)
It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. Lamentation 3:26 (MSG) Romans 15:13 (MSG)
But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 (MSG)
I, Paul, am an apostle on special assignment for Christ, our living hope. 1 Timothy 1:1a (MSG)
And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Hebrews 6:11 (MSG)
May you hold tight to the HOPE we have in Christ! Trust Him as you navigate uncharted territory! He never changes – even when it feels like everything is changing!