Bible Verse: Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4:18-21
Scripture Reading: John 1:1-14; Romans 8:24-25
Matt Maher has a great Christmas song, “Hope for Everyone, ” which you can find here. It is a clear Gospel call: Jesus has come and calls everyone to Himself and the hope that only He can bring. Christmas is a beautiful time to celebrate this, as we celebrate His birth in the Nativity.
Hope is a theme that comes to us throughout the Word, including in our main passage today. Abraham was in an impossible situation. God had promised him a son, but he and his wife were decades past the child-bearing years. There was no physical way that this could possibly happen. There was no hope. So, what did Abraham do?
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed…” (v.18). When there was literally no hope…Abraham hoped nonetheless.
Why? Because he was “fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised” (v.21).
Abraham’s hope was not in any fleeting feeling or human intervention. He put his hope in the God of Creation, who had proven Himself over and over and over again.
This is the hope we experience afresh every Christmas. In Jesus, God was bringing forth His promise to save the world. It is good to refresh and remind ourselves of these things as we move through the December days.
We don’t know for sure when Jesus’ birthday was, but most scholars are pretty sure that it wasn’t December. Even Israel gets cold at this time of year, and it’s unlikely that shepherds would have been out with their flocks at night in the cold (Luke 2:8).
So, while Jesus’ actual birthdate is unknown, December is a perfect time to celebrate His arrival nonetheless. As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, as the weather gets colder and we know more cold is coming, we pause.
We remember that “the true Light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (John 1:9). In the coldest, darkest nights of the year, we remember the One who came to push the darkness back.
This is hope. And it comes from a God who has proven His character and His faithfulness for millennia.
This is a God worth hoping in, and this is a Saviour worth hoping for.
Prayer: Lord, as we approach Christmas Day, may the Christmas story be fresh for me this year as You renew my hope and fill me with more of it this season. Amen.
Reflection: How do you think Abraham could hold onto hope in an impossible situation? What can he teach us about hoping when there seemingly is no hope?
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