Think About This: “Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.’” – Corrie ten Boom
Unleashing Hope at Christmas
Posted on December 6, 2021 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
The first candle on the Advent Candle represents hope. My lifelong friend and mentor, Neil Fichthorn, gave me this article that Sherwood Wirt wrote in a 1976 Decision Magazine:
Our times really parallel the times when God sent Jesus to be born in the little town called Bethlehem:
- People were being heavily taxed, much having to do with military spending.
- Threat of world domination by cruel, ungodly, power-hungry men.
- Moral deterioration had corrupted the upper levels of society and was moving into the broad base of the populace.
- Government handouts were used to keep leaders in power.
- There was an abnormal emphasis placed on sports and competition.
- Social life centered around heavy drinking and questionable moral practices.
- Peace propaganda was heard everywhere in the midst of the preparation for war.
- The rulers were invoking a subtle form of state worship – the politically correct way to think.
- External religious observance was considered a political asset.
- Conformity was the spirit of the age.
- Interest rates were spiraling upward in the midst of an inflated economy.
- Racial tension was at the breaking point.
- There was hope for a political deliverer: Governor, Ruler, King, the hope of peace.
These were frightening times. Dark times. Disconcerting times. The children of Israel were oppressed, persecuted, afraid. 400 silent years. No visitation from God. Period. There was very little hope.
The birth of Christ unleashes hope for all of us:
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.
Hope of the gospel: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we all have access by faith into this grace with which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)
Hope of righteousness: For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Galatians 5:5
Hope of our calling: To them God will make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in YOU, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
Hope that purifies: Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not been yet revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is, And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3
Hope for the future: For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Hope of His appearing: Looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 3:5-7
Hope of eternal life: not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7
Think about this as we move through this season of Advent.
Living in light of the gospel,
Bill Welte, President/CEO
Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. –Colossians 3:14-15