“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us” (Romans 5:1-2,5).
It was a couple of weeks before Christmas and as I was going into church, I stopped to ask someone how a medical issue was progressing.
It was only slowly and I could see she was still very frustrated by how long it was taking.
We went on to talk about Christmas letters and she shared how when she sat down to do hers this year she’d found herself writing about her health first, rather than news of the family as she would usually write first.
I remember making some comment about next year being a better year for her and then we talked about how we so often hope that will be the case.
But will it really be better? Can we know it will?
While I hope her health issue may well resolve itself with time, for many of us the problems we have are chronic. They may not be going away and they may worsen in the year 2016 or years ahead of us.
How can that make for a better year next year?
At Christmas we think of the birth of Jesus, our Savior, the hope of the world. We celebrate not only His birth, but the difference He made in our lives because of that birth and the life He went on to have here on earth–including His death and resurrection.
We already know the end to that part of His story and what that means for us.
Above all, Jesus brought us hope. Not just at Christmas, but hope for every day in every year we live here on earth–and hope of a future spent with Him in eternity.
So yes, this new year may still have it’s challenges, but we can face it and them, with hope.
Hope in Him.
Prayer: Father God, we thank You for the hope we have in the knowledge of You and the life of Your Son, Jesus. Thank you that as we look forward into a new year, whatever the challenges we may face, we face them with You–and that gives us hope. Amen.
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful that God walks each step of her life with her, and that He continues to teach her new things as she learns to live with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to share those things with others. You can contact her in the Sunroom, or read more of her writing on her blog there.
How are you feeling about starting a new year? Can you still feel hope in the midst of the challenges you expect? If you don’t, what can you do to renew that hope?
This is Spoken For singing “Hope is Rising.” I love this song. It reminds us that we have to keep on going because if we truly believe the Lord gives us hope, we too can deliver God’s hope to someone else. Rest Ministries celebrates 20 years this year in 2016 and I cannot fathom what kind of chronically ill person I would have been had I not been given the opportunity to encourage people like you. Don’t forget that your pain–and your hope–is part of your story. -Lisa