December 01, 2013

Christmas Hope

Romans 5:1-11

Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
—Romans 5:5


Hope is a vital part of life. Hope drives and motivates us. It gives us the power to endure in hard times and to excel in good times. Without hope we die. The good news in our passage today is that through faith we can have hope even in the face of our sinfulness and in life’s hardships.

“We boast in the hope of the glory of God.” This hope is rooted in both who God is and what God has done for us. He is the holy God, who seeks his wayward children and provides a way home. God demonstrated his love for us in spite of us. While we were still sinners, God sent Jesus to be our salvation.

Christ came to earth to open the way to God, so in Christ we have gained access to God’s grace. The image of “gaining access” is that of a ship reaching a safe harbor in the threat of a raging storm. We have hope because we have shelter and security in almighty God’s grace.

Do you feel undeserving of God’s love? Do you feel you are beyond hope? In the Christmas season we celebrate not what we have done but what God has done for us. Our hope is not in ourselves. Real hope rests in God’s promises and in his amazing love for sinners like you and me. Can you look forward to celebrating Christmas with that hope?

We praise you, Jesus, that in your great mercy you have given us a new birth into a living hope. Help us to wait patiently and confidently in you. Amen.

About the author — Calvin Aardsma

Calvin Aardsma has been a pastor for more than thirty years. He has served churches in Indiana, Oregon, and the Chicago area. Currently, he is a pastor of Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Lansing, Illinois. He also serves on the board of the Ugandan Orphanage Relief Fund. Cal and his wife, Sandy, have four children and five grandchildren.

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