Do you still have HOPE this Christmas?
Over the next four weeks, this blog series will take us on a journey as we experience the birth of Jesus in a fresh way through the eyes of three extraordinary women.
For week 1 of the Blog Series, click here.
What are you hoping for this Christmas season? Hope and desire have such a mutually beneficial relationship. Desire causes you to remain hopeful. Simultaneously, hope moves you closer to the desire. When we met our three faith-filled ladies last week, we were just beginning to investigate each of their desires. Mary had just received a miraculous Word from an angel of the Lord, Elizabeth was secretly desiring to be a mother, and Anna was praying in the temple.
If desire is like a car, hope is the necessary fuel.
Wherever there is desire, the enemy will always send negativity and doubt to kill the hope. We must be determined not to let our hope die. Can you imagine the whispers that probably swirled around the communities those ladies lived in? "Mary says she is pregnant with the Son of God." "I wonder why Elizabeth cannot conceive a child; she may be disgraced by God." "Why is Anna always praying in the temple, does she not have anything else to do?" Whispers lead to negativity and negativity can lead to doubt if we are not careful.
Romans 15:4 (NLT) states that such things were written in the scriptures long ago to teach us. And the scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled. When we take a look at the scriptures that include these women, we can certainly receive hope and encouragement. In the face of difficulty, each woman loved God deeply and was able to remain hopeful. What do you do to remain hopeful?
Mary immediately surrendered her will to God and then sang a song of thanksgiving. Surrender and thanksgiving are components of hope that fuel the desire. Elizabeth held on to her hope by being obedient and continuing in right standing with God. Both of these propelled her closer to the desire. Worship, fasting and prayer is how Anna sustained her hope. Each of these acts stabilized her until the desire was fulfilled in her life.
We must strive to model our lives after these women this Christmas and refuse to lose hope! As we cling to the acts of hope and faith that worked for Mary, Elizabeth, and Anna, we can trust that they will work for us as well. Let us commit to patiently waiting for the desires to be fulfilled. Let Him heal your soul!
Next week, we will discover what happens when we have an experience with God.
Your Sister in Christ,
Prayer: Heavenly Father, As we get bombarded by all of the details of the Christmas season, let us continue to be hopeful in you. In Jesus' Name, Amen.