“A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench,
Till He sends forth justice to victory;
Andin His Name Gentiles will trust.”
Do you have hope today?
In Matthew 12:21, the word for trust, or hope, means: “To wait for salvation with joy and full confidence.”
As 2017 quickly draws to a close and you celebrate Christmas - what are you celebrating for?
Maybe this year has been hard on you. I have had some difficulties, too. There have been times for me recently when I’ve felt like a bruised reed - when ministry was beyond me, when there were family issues, when I got malaria for the (seemingly) millionth time. I felt like one small breeze would put out my flame completely. One more thing would throw me over the edge.
But you know what? In those moments, God is intimately close to us, breathing life back into us and not letting us go even when our strength fails. We fail, our plans and finances and health may fail us - but He never will!! He has sustained me and brought me out into victory, and He is moving to do the same for you.
Isn’t that reason to hope?
Nothing, no one else is worth hoping in.
Jesus came to satisfy the justice of God. Sin stained His perfect world and broke our relationship to Him. God the Son suffered the full wrath of God the Father, willingly laying down His Heavenly Place and taking on the form of a servant. Fully God, crowned in Majesty, He came into this world as a vulnerable baby. He came to die and satisfy justice. He came to bring us freedom and victory.
Jesus also came to clearly and mightily display the Love of God. Touching the untouchables, receiving the rejects and the forgotten. The God man in our skin, walking our world, so that we may be clothed in His Righteousness and walk in His World one day soon. Forgiving the chief of sinners, telling us to put down our stones of self-righteousness and allowing Him to embrace us and change us.
Perfect justice. Perfect love. Jesus. The reason we celebrate. The unchanging reason for our sure hope. It doesn’t matter that things may fall apart at times and not go according to our plans. Everything else may crumble - but the gift of Jesus remains available to us today - right now - wherever we are, whatever we have gone through.
He stands at the door and knocks. Will you welcome Him in this Christmas, or will He once again find no room?
For those of us who receive Him, we celebrate the baby in the manger and the Conquering King who is alive and lives to intercede for us and bring us home.
In this world of cruelty and pain, He is our Hope.
That makes this a Merry Christmas, indeed!