Peace and Hope to a Broken World

It’s the first of December.

As much as I wish I could write a lighthearted post about Christmas – I have to admit that my heart was heavy today.

It seems as though the last few weeks have been filled with sad news.

Dear people suffering through hard things.

Loss. Pain. Uncertainty.

Broken hearts. Broken bodies. Broken dreams.

Everywhere from the national news to my inbox, I’m reminded that we live in a broken world.

Yet, as my heart wept again this morning over more painful news, God brought the opening song of our children’s Christmas program to mind.

It begins on the streets of Bethlehem and the plaintive sounds of a violin is heard mournfully crying, “O come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel…”

Then the children start singing –

“Who will save us? Who will comfort those who cry?

Who will free us – is He right before our eyes?

How long must we wait for deliverance?

When will God turn his head and hear us?

And bring peace and hope to a broken world.

And bring peace and hope to a broken world.”

That cry is still heard today.

People are searching for hope.

For peace.

For comfort.

People are still living in darkness and fear.

People are still asking when God will turn His head and hear them.

But the story doesn’t end there.

It goes on to tell about a baby born to a virgin mother.

It tells of angels proclaiming the news to shepherds on the hills outside of Bethlehem.

A Savior is born!

Emmanuel!

God with us!

The children continue to sing –

“That holy night, when mercy fell like rain,

and God broke through our darkness and our pain.

That holy night, when love came down to earth.

Emmanuel with us, in a fragile baby’s birth.”

God broke through the darkness.

He broke through the pain.

He sent mercy!

That holy night brought hope.

It brought peace.

The world all around us is broken and hurting.

We have the answer.

As we enter this Advent season, may our hearts know it.

May our lives reflect it.

May our words echo it.

He will save us. He will comfort those who cry.

He will hear us, He has opened up our eyes.

Jesus is king, King forever.

Praise to God who is faithful to save us.

He is peace and hope for a broken world.

That’s what my heart needed to hear today.

How about yours?

 

 

 

 

Hope Does Not Disappoint…

I hope it stops raining.

I hope my package comes in time.

I hope my kids remember to say thank you.

We hope about things all day long….and we face many disappointments.

But what exactly is hope?

Sheila Walsh in her book Let Go (which is a fabulous book and I hope you all read it!) said it so well…

“Hope is only as strong as the object or person it is attached to. It has no value of its own…”

Wow. That is so true! If my hope is in the postal service or the every changing weather, or even my wonderful, yet quite fallible family, my hope is rather… um… hopeless.

Sheila Walsh goes on…

“As I sit here today, one thing is crystal clear to me: my hope can be summed up in one name – Jesus!

If my hope is in anything else apart from Jesus, then it is too small. He is the answer to everything I need or anticipate. He is my deepest desire even when I don’t immediately recognize that.

He is my yesterday, today and tomorrow.

When everything fails, He will not.

When I can’t count on myself, I can count on Him.

When I’m not sure how to pay my bills, I can hope in him.

When I don’t know what’s happening in our country, I can hope in Him.

When friends fail, He will not.

When my health fails, He will not.

When I disappoint others and myself, He will never disappoint.

When I want to give up on myself, He will never give up on me.

When I find it hard to love myself, He does not.

When I have no grace for myself, He does.

When I don’t know what to do any more, He does.

Do you see how securely your life is tucked into the very hand of the one who holds the universe in place?

You are loved, you are loved, and yes, you are loved!”

What is your hope in today? Are you feeling disappointed?  Discouraged? It’s time to put your hope in God.

He is the only one strong enough to never let you down.

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5: 5