December 16, 2013

Hope for Sinners

Psalm 130

Christ Jesus [is] our hope.
—1 Timothy 1:1


Is there any hope? Many of us have had that thought at one time or another. Using the image of someone drowning or trapped in a pit, Psalm 130 cries out for help.

The sense of hopelessness is made worse because the psalmist knows the reason for the brokenness of life: sin. It is not that God failed. But we have failed God. The psalmist also knows the source of hope: God himself.

God in his mercy offers real hope, not the wishful thinking we often call hope. Human hope falls short and fails; hope in God “does not put us to shame” (Romans 5:5).

Why is God’s hope sure?

Our psalm passage points to God’s unfailing love, unchanging word, and full redemption. In Christmas we see the depths to which God went for our sake. In his unfailing love God gave his only Son to be our savior (John 3:16). On Christmas, fulfilling God’s word, Jesus the Word of God came in the flesh to reveal God and bring salvation. This salvation brings not only the forgiveness of our sins but also full redemption and a future where the consequences of sin are fully removed. Christ Jesus is our hope!

In the dark of night, may we put our hope in the Lord. The dawn is coming because Jesus came at Christmas.

Lord, you are the hope of the hopeless, the help of the help-less. We praise you for answering our deepest need through “Christ Jesus our hope,” in whose name we pray. 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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