December 25 I Saturday
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” —Proverbs 13:12
What are we hoping for this Christmas: a particular gift from the store, a promotion from work or meeting that special someone over the holiday? Every year at Christmas, we are reminded that the hope of the world is not in an object, but a person. Sometimes, we forget about that in our culture. I remember every Christmas morning I would be waiting for that gift. Sure enough, that item that looked so cool on TV would be under the Christmas tree. I would open it and play with it. I looked to it to satisfy my deepest needs, and it did make me feel good for a while, but that feeling would soon wear off. And as a child, my heart would find some other object to start to hope for.
As adults, we can follow the same patterns we had as children. We can place our hope in an object, a relationship or a new job to fulfill us, but it is a hope that has impossible expectations attached to it, because that object was never meant to satisfy our deepest needs. Our deepest longings can only be satisfied in Christ Jesus Himself. We were made to be in relationship with God Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.
When we place our hope in objects other than Christ, our deepest hope gets deferred because the object we placed our hope in cannot satisfy our deepest needs; it was simply a temporary hope filler. This is the danger we can even slip into in our culture’s perspective of hope. We can attach hope to a material object, because materialism is a counterfeit god in our day. There is only one object that we can place our hope in—the person of Jesus Christ.
When we look at Scripture, biblical hope is the fact that our Hope lies in heaven and intercedes on our behalf—Jesus Christ came to give His life as a ransom for many. He died on the cross for our sins, was buried, resurrected and is now sitting in the throne room of God as our Great High Priest. Hebrews 6:19 tells us, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a High Priest for ever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
As we open presents today, we will find the greatest gift that satisfies all of our deepest longings is not wrapped up under a tree. Rather, this gift is always available to us, each day of the year—will we choose to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour?
Prayer: Precious Lord, on this Christmas day, may I remember that the greatest gift I can hope for, that will satisfy my deepest longings, is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Thank You, Lord.