A Thrill of Hope
No matter what you’re hoping for this Christmas, don’t give up. Because Hope has already come.
Hope is out there, and it’s coming for you.
There’s an amazing moment in the Christmas story that is easy to overlook. When Jesus was about a month old — after the shepherds and angels singing but before the arrival of the wise men — his parents took him to Jerusalem. There, they presented him to the priests at the temple, which was a traditional ritual carried out for every firstborn son of a Jewish family.
And there, this baby boy, who could not yet even hold his head upright, brought a thrill of hope to a man who had waited his entire life to see God move.
An Old Man and a Baby Boy
We find this story beginning in Luke 2:22. When Mary and Joseph arrived at the temple, they met an old man named Simeon, who had spent his entire life serving God and waiting for Him to deliver the people of Israel. God had spoken to Simeon supernaturally and told him that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah.
And when Simeon saw the baby Jesus, he knew that God had made good on His promise.Nobody else in the temple saw anything but an ordinary baby boy. But Simeon saw the fulfillment of a lifetime’s worth of hope. tweet this!
When Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to the priests, Simeon’s eyes lit up. His spirit jumped. His heart burst with joy. Nobody else in the temple saw anything but an ordinary baby boy. But Simeon saw the fulfillment of a lifetime’s worth of hope.
Simeon took Jesus in his arms and said:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,(Luke 2:29-32)
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
We don’t know a lot about Simeon’s life. But we know he was living in a difficult age. For the third time in their history, the people of Israel had been made subject to a cruel foreign power — this time the iron fist of the Roman empire. Men of God from centuries ago had prophesied that God would send a savior, and yet He hadn’t spoken to His people in 400 years. There was little to be hopeful about.
But Simeon had a promise from God, and he held onto that promise until the day God brought it to pass. And there, in the temple courts, Simeon found the hope he had waited for his entire life in the face of a baby boy.
What Are You Hoping For?
Like Simeon, we’re all hoping for something. Maybe you’re hoping for a financial miracle. Maybe you’re hoping for a breakthrough in your marriage. You could be hoping for a friend, for a job or for a spouse. For healing. Or forgiveness. Or a child of your own.
No matter what you’re hoping for or how impossible it may seem, know that God keeps His promises. Like Simeon, you can rejoice in the goodness of God. Because just as Jesus was the fulfillment of everything Simeon hoped for, He is the fulfillment of everything you hope for too.Just as Jesus was the fulfillment of everything Simeon hoped for, He is the fulfillment of everything you hope for too. tweet this!
In Jesus, God provided for us, meeting our greatest need before we even knew we were needy. In Jesus, God gave us forgiveness. He brought healing for every broken relationship. He brought love that doesn’t fail or grow old. He brought restoration for our bodies and peace for our world.
Jesus is the fulfillment of every promise God ever made. He’s the answer to your every question and the healing for your every pain. There may be struggles in life and days when you don’t understand what God is doing. But you can rest in the knowledge that God is working. Because when Jesus came into the world, he brought eternal hope, once and for all.
Hope Has Already Come
What fascinates me most about Simeon’s story is that he probably didn’t live to see Jesus grow up. He was dead long before Jesus healed a single sick person. Simeon didn’t watch Jesus walk on water. He wasn’t there for the Sermon on the Mount. He didn’t witness the crucifixion and he wasn’t at the tomb the day Jesus rose again.
Simeon didn’t see Jesus’ triumphs. He wasn’t there when Jesus conquered death and set His people free. In fact, Simeon knew he wouldn’t live to see Jesus fulfill his destiny. But it didn’t matter. Because Simeon’s eyes had seen his savior. And that was enough.If your eyes are set on Jesus, you already have the great hope of the world living in your heart. tweet this!
Like Simeon, you might be hoping for some things that you’ll never see fulfilled in your own lifetime. But your longing is not in vain. Because if your eyes are set on Jesus, you already have the great hope of the world living in your heart. And on that day when He completes all things — in this lifetime or the next — He will fulfill the deepest longings of your heart in ways richer and more beautiful than you ever imagined.
So as we celebrate this season, no matter what you’re hoping for, don’t give up. Because hope has come and is coming and will come again. We have felt it in our hearts. And one day, we’ll see it with our eyes.