Hope, is the forgotten virtue of the alcoholic, addict, over-eater, the couch potato, the individual fixed in their dead-end job, etc. Hope is used by so many of us in an off-handed way that when we say to another, "I hope you have a nice Holiday Season, and it is forgotten as fast as it was heard. I am guilty of passing conversation like that. In reality, I really want those I converse with to have a good day or a great holiday, I hope they do, I'm sure you do as well.
Hope is missing in so many people's lives today. Why? Many reasons, sickness, jobless without prospect, broken relationships, to name a few. I have mentioned this before, and feel it worth repeating. The happiest children in the world is in, of all places, Nigeria. These children face danger daily, possible genocide of the Christians from the Islamic groups that say convert or die. These children are happy because they have hope of a better tomorrow.
The most unhappy children in the world are right here in the USA. They seem to have everything, why are they unhappy? Because they have nothing to look forward to...everything they want is within reach, even for most of our poor, but certainly not all.
"Hope deferred, (unrelenting disappointment), makes the heart sick, but when desire comes, (a longing comes true), it is a tree of life." Prov.13:12
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." Martin Luther King Jr.
Attend recovery meetings and observe the broken entering for their first few meetings. These people are hopeless, beaten down, and walked on, by their own doing. Nobody loves them, none care, even God...there is no hope for them, so they think. But by showing up and at least giving recovery a try, the lights come on for them to get a small glimpse of hope, and suddenly, that light is in their eyes, hope has been re-discovered! Desiring to live, accomplish, and to become someone who can make a difference is indeed a tree of life.
You do not have to have addictions, or overwhelming problems of any kind to be hopeless. Having no purpose, no ambition, and failures have left you totally defeated. You need that tree of life. That tree is the tree of death that Jesus died on, but life for anyone and looks to Him in hope.
"To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. HOPE means hoping when everything seems hopeless." G.K. Chesterton
Prior to the first advent of Christ, the people of God looked forward to the "Hope of Israel," the promised One who would appear. Their hope appeared in Jesus, but that wasn't what they expected. We still look at Him for hope today as we look back at what He accomplished through his death, burial, and resurrection.
By our believing on Him, and inviting Him into our heart for a personal advent, He arrives and our hope is realized, a real tree of life living and changing us continually. This is a mystery to the unbeliever that is hopeless, but certainly not unattainable. HOPE is found in Him. Just ask Him, he will come to you too, and then we can together look for to the second advent, the "blessed hope!"
"Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." Titus 2:13
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all, Merry Christmas!