19
Dec
15

CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS: HOPE

And again, “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, And let all the peoples praise Him.” And again Isaiah says, “There shall come the root of Jesse, And He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, In Him shall the Gentiles hope.” Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:11-13
It is interesting that the word hope is one of those words that we seem to know exactly what it means, but we can’t put an exact definition to it. A dictionary definition for this word would be “to wish for, to expect, but without certainty of the fulfillment; to desire very much, but with no real assurance of getting your desire.” That definition seems rather cold and bleak, and in the Biblical use of it, this definition seems to be void of hope!
In the New Testament, the Greek word for hope is elpis, and it seems to possess a more warm and fuzzy definition. The definition of elpis in the Biblical sense would be more along the lines of having a proper expectation of what is sure. This would certainly apply to the Christ.
The promise from the Old Testament book of Isaiah was that the Christ would come to bring peace, redemption, and hope to the Gentiles. God is the god of hope, and we can grow more fully trusting what God has promised through the power of the Holy Spirit. Think about that. It seems as if hope takes the intangible expectations and gives them substance.
Jesus appearing at His birth was the physical embodiment of the spiritual hope that we all were promised. And because He has fulfilled that hope, we can trust in His promised hope of His return and our reward if we are faithful.

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