“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
HOPE. As a word it is a little hard to describe and define, let alone live out. Getting a firm grip on it, or teaching hope to the next generation, is a bit like grabbing Jell-O, it’s slick and slippery.
Hebrews 11:1 helps when it says: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (emphasis added). Our faith journey asks us to identify “things hoped for,” then have confidence that those things will come about, even if we currently cannot see them.
The first thing we hope for is to be where Jesus is. We long to be in His heaven, where He is. One of the outcomes of Jesus “saving His people from their sins” is Him ushering us into His realm of reality. The hope of streets of gold, rivers of life, and the angelic host sustains us while here on planet earth. Let’s take time to remind ourselves of the hope that one day we will be where He is.
The second thing we hope for is to be with our Jesus. Wow! Think on it. Within the first 60 seconds of being where He is we will “fully know Him.” Paul revealed this, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12, emphasis added). Part of what we will “fully know” is Him!
Did you catch the key phrases “Face to face” and “I will fully know”? Currently, Jesus the person is mysterious. But one day we will know Him fully!
At Christmastime we celebrate Jesus coming to earth in human form. We know that He came to save us from our sins so we can be where He is and with Him in the fullest sense. What a fantastic Christmas HOPE this is.
Written by Phil Sparling, who served as the Charis Fellowship executive director from 2019–2023. Phil is the senior pastor at Auburn Grace Community Church in northern California.