Christmas: a story of promise

christmas of promiseWith all the holiday jingle and jangle, it’s easy to get distracted by all the trimmings. But I don’t want to miss Christmas this year. I want to focus on what matters.

I want to read the Christmas story with fresh eyes and renewed perspective.

Will you join me?

Because right now, this is a hard season. I feel overwhelmed. My personal life feels out of control. A reminder of loss, of dreams unfulfilled.

Unfulfilled. Isn’t that how God’s people felt before the Messiah’s arrival?

Promises left unfulfilled. A long waiting period. 400 years of silence, to be exact. Four CENTURIES since the last word of hope that God would send a Savior.

Longing. The people were longing for change. They were desperately awaiting the coming of their King. The One who would change everything. The One who would restore them and fulfill the promises He had made to them.

Waiting. After waiting 400 years, did their hope dwindle? Did they start to wonder if He would ever come? Maybe they had misheard or misunderstood.

What about you? What longing do you have that continues to go unfulfilled? What hope are you still waiting to see fulfilled?

Long waiting periods can be confusing ones. Did God forget me? Will He fulfill His promises? Did I even hear Him right? Did God pass me by while He was busy blessing everyone else? Is He punishing me?

If you are experiencing this, you are not alone.

In my current season of waiting, I have struggled with these questions. I have watched God move ever-so-slowly in areas of healing and restoration in my life and have often wondered, How long, O Lord?

In these moments of doubt, uncertainty and despair, God whispers to me through His timeless Word.

“The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever” (Ps 138:8).

“For we live by faith and not by sight…And without faith it is impossible to please God” (2 Cor 5:7, Heb 11:6)

God is true to His word. When He speaks, He acts. But He acts according to His timetable, not mine. For we walk by faith and not by sight. Our hope is placed, not in the circumstances we see, but in the promises and character of God whom we don’t see.

God has a plan and purpose for your life. And you can bet it will include the impossible and require you to trust Him along the way.

The Christmas Story is a perfect example of this. It’s a story of fulfillment. Advent celebrates the fulfillment of the promises of God in the arrival of the Messiah. God prepared His people during their waiting period so that they would be ready to receive what was promised.

This season, let the Christmas story serve as a reminder that God had not forgotten you. He had not reneged on His promises. He stays true to His word and will fulfill every purpose He has planned for your life.

Trust Him. Wait for Him to act. “Then you will know that I am the LORD; and those who hope in me shall not be disappointed” (Isa 49:23).

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